Brown boost for shaky Sharks

Former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown will join up with the Sharks’ Vodacom Super 14 squad in New Zealand just in time for their mammoth five-week overseas tour.

The Sharks, who lost to the Cheetahs by a point over the weekend, were given a massive boost when they heard that Brown’s Japanse club – the Wild Knights – had lost their semi-final match. This allowed the New Zealander to at last join the South African side.

Percy Montgomery scored 25 points against the Chiefs in his first Super 14 start at flyhalf, but was it was Bradley Barritt who wore the No 10 jersey against the Cheetahs on Saturday. Now the Sharks are set to pick their third flyhalf in as many games.

Sharks coach Dick Muir said Brown would have no problem slotting into the team against the Crusaders on Saturday.

“We have been sending him videos of our games and the information on our moves,” Muir told The Mercury. “We are talking about one of the most experienced flyhalves in the game. He has been in just about every situation you can imagine.”

The Sharks left for New Zealand on Sunday without several key players. Fullback JP Pietsersen (hamstring), flank Warren Britz (hamstring), scrumhalf Craig Davidson (lower back), wing Henno Mentz (back) and prop Heinke van der Merwe (knee) have all stayed behind to recover.

Prop BJ Botha (pinched nerve in the neck) is with the squad and his progress will be monitored over the course of the week.

25 Feb vs Crusaders
4 March vs Waratahs
11 March vs Brumbies
18 March vs Highlanders
24 March vs Hurricanes