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AUDIO: Sharks ready to 'bend' medical process to get injured Boks ready

The Sharks are delaying a call on the injured World Cup-winning Springboks for as long as possible, hoping they will be fit to feature in the Challenge Cup Final.

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Gloucester and the Sharks will go head-to-head in the EPCR Grand Finale at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 24.

Prop Vincent Koch, lock Eben Etzebeth and centre Lukhanyo Am were injured in last week’s 24-25 loss to a fired-up Benetton at Kings Park last Saturday.

Etzebeth left the field for a Head Injury Assessment (concussion) and failed the test.

However, he later complained about a neck injury.

Koch injured his ankle in a scrum, but walked without a limp after the game.

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Am injured his sternoclavicular (SC) joint.

The trio will certainly not feature in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Round 17 encounter with Cardiff in Durban.

Even though the URC team announcement is only scheduled for Friday, defence coach Joey Mongalo said the selection that will face Cardiff will be ‘similar’ to the combination that lost (10-21) to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium a month ago.

Although the travelling squad for the Challenge Cup Final has not been named, it will include the injured Bok trio.

(Sharks defence coach Joey Mongalo gives an update on their injured World Cup winners ahead of the big Euro Final….)

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“We are trying to give those guys as long as possible to get ready,” the assistant coach said.

“The medical team is going ‘over and beyond’ if they can give everybody the best possible opportunity [to be fit and available].”

Mongalo said they are willing to ‘bend’ the medical process to have as many injured players as possible to be fit for the trip.

“This will be a launch pad for the mood that we will go into the Final with,” Mongalo said.

He dismissed the notion that it is an A-Team/B-Team set-up.

“We’re a collective Sharks squad,” the assistant coach said, adding: “We have given these guys [against Cardiff] a chance to put their hands up and play well, to give the team that travels to [England to face] Gloucester good momentum.

“Hopefully this match will reflect where we are and how far we have come as a squad.”

He described the Cardiff selection as the ‘unsung heroes’ of the wider group.

“They now have an opportunity to showcase what they have been working on in the shadows [and put it] out in the light.

“There are still spots in that team that will face Gloucester that are up for grabs.”

A group of players will fly out on Saturday, while the players who impress enough against Cardiff will fly out on Sunday.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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