Sharks’ best head to Newlands

The Sharks will almost certainly have a full-strength squad to pick from when they name the side to face the Stormers in their decisive Round 14 Super 14 match at Newlands on Saturday.

This comes after it was confirmed on Monday that hardman AJ Venter’s hand, injured in the 33-3 victory over the Lions last Saturday, is not fractured.

Although the injury is still listed as “severe”, his chances of recovering in time to face the Stormers had improved significantly since the weekend.

Venter, who became only the second South African to appear in 100 Super Rugby matches at the weekend, brings with him a physical presence that will ensure the Sharks will approach this all-South African derby – a must-win encounter if they are to secure home ground advantage in the play-offs – with a lot more confidence.

This also follows confirmation that tighthead prop BJ Botha, who withdrew at a late stage after initially being named on the bench to face the Lions, had recovered from the “illness” that ruled him out.

The status of the third injured player, loose forward Ryan Kankowski, has also been upgraded to “will be considered for selection”, after he suffered an ankle injury against the Lions.

 

365 Digital

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