Steve Meyer, the Sharks’ great hope at flyhalf, has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.
The Perpignan recruit was expected to be named as the starting No 10 for Saturday’s match against the Chiefs. Monty Dumond was supposed to ride the bench, but coach John Plumtree has been forced to promote the utility player and name Ruan Pienaar as cover.
Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl has confirmed that Meyer has retired for personal reasons and been released from his contract. ‘Whilst this has come at an inopportune time, we respect his decision and have agreed to release him. It is fortunate that we have a number of players who can fill this position until such time as alternative arrangements can be made.’
Meyer looked the Sharks’ best bet in the pre-season match against the Stormers. The Durban side are already short on depth, and this news will be yet another blow to their depleted stocks.
John Smit will captain the side against the Chiefs and forms part of an all-Bok front row. Ryan Kankowski is down to start at No 8 while Willem Alberts, the subject of much controversy, is among the reserves.
Sharks – 15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Monty Dumond, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Johann Muller, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. John Smit (c), 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Gerhard Mostert, 19. Willem Alberts, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Ruan Pienaar, 22. Adrian Jacobs