AUDIO: Sharks sweating over Bok prop
LISTEN as Sharks coach Robert du Preez talks about his team’s final pre-season outing and their start to the Super Rugby season.
The Sharks’ Springbok prop, Thomas du Toit, is in a race against time to be fit for the opening round of the competition.
Du Toit, 23, hurt his ankle during the build-up to the SuperSunday fixture against the Lions in Cape Town this past Sunday.
The coach admitted he is not guaranteed to be available for the opening week.
“Hopefully he will be alright to travel to the [Round One encounter with] the Sunwolves [in Singapore Saturday, February 16],” Du Preez said.
Another Bok, wing Makazole Mapimpi, pulled up with a tight hamstring in the 14-19 loss to the Lions in Cape Town last Sunday.
He is likely to be rested for the final pre-season hit-out, against the Bulls in Ballito on Saturday.
However, the coach is confident he will make the trip to Singapore.
Du Preez said he will field his best available team against the Bulls this week.
“We’ll have a squad of 30 players for the game against the Bulls and we want to give the bulk of the game time to those players who will be travelling to play the Sunwolves,” the coach said.
“It will be an opportunity for the likes of André [Esterhuizen], Rob [du Preez], Coenie [Oosthuizen], Ruan [Botha] and Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] to feature,” he said of the encounter with the Bulls.
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He added that it was good to develop the youngsters in the hit-out against the Lions this past weekend.
“I’m pleased with where we are,” he said.
“There were 11 youngsters who played for the Sharks for the first time – which was good.
“It’s great to give them the confidence of playing at this level.”