No Skinstad in Shark tank

Former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad will be waiting on the sidelines for a while longer. Sharks coach Dick Muir won’t rush him back.

Muir revealed on Monday that Skinstad will not be in the Sharks team that will face the high-flying Waratahs in a Super 14 Round Two match in Durban on Friday.

This ends earlier speculation that Skinstad “may be back” this week.

“Skinstad is still out. We’re not considering him yet,” Muir told this website, when asked about the charismatic former Bok loose forward.

Skinstad, who was signed in a highly publicised move at the start of the season, has been kept on the sidelines while he improves his general conditioning. He played lower league and social rugby at Richmond in England for the last few years and first needs to get up to speed with Super 14 rugby.

He did not feature in the Sharks’ pre-season outing against the Cheetahs and was also reduced to signing autographs on the sidelines when the Sharks beat the Bulls (17-3) in a Round One match at the weekend.

And Muir has put no definite time frame on his return to first class rugby in South Africa.

“I don’t want to introduce him before we believe he is 100 percent,” Muir added.

Skinstad is not the only high-profile Shark that will miss Friday night’s outing against the Waratahs.

Veteran lock Johan Ackermann is still sidelined with an injury and wing Odwa Ndungane remains on the doubtful list.

But of bigger concern to Muir is the hamstring injuries sustained by Bok prop BJ Botha and star scrum-half Ruan Pienaar – both who are rated at no more than 50-50 to face the ‘Tahs.

Muir is not in the least concerned that the early season injuries could derail his team’s progress – following their impressive win over the Bulls.

“We can expect a couple of muscular things,” Muir said.

“They are not serious and that is why we are looking for such depth in our squad.

“It just means we will do the rotation [of players] a little earlier than what we would have planned for,” he added.

By Jan de Koning -365 Digital

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