Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.
Michalak in for Sharks - Frederic Michalak has been named on the Sharks’ bench for their clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The Frenchman returns for his second stint with the Durban franchise after helping them win the 2008 Currie Cup. He plays off the wood and will primarily cover scrumhalf, although he will play flyhalf if needed.
In other changes, Charl McLeod starts at No 9 in place of the injured Conrad Hoffmann. In the forwards, lock Gerhard Mostert replaces Alistair Hargreaves, who drops to the bench. There is also a boost for the Sharks with the return of Ryan Kankowski, who starts at No 8 in a back row of Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel.
Adi Jacobs also makes a comeback from injury and takes Riaan Swanepoel’s place in the reserves.
Sharks - 15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche , 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Gerhard Mostert, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Eugene van Staden, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. John Smit (c).
Subs: 16. Tendai Mtawarira, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Frederic Michalak
21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Adrian Jacobs
Sharks may call on Jouba – Former Springbok centre Marius Joubert’s contract with the Sharks only starts in July, but further injuries to the Sharks’ midfield may see him featuring in the back-end of the Super Rugby campaign.
The Sharks will allow Joubert, who is returning to South Africa after a stint in Clermont, to settle before discussing the matter with him. Coach John Plumtree has admitted that if the Sharks lose another centre, they could be in trouble.
If the Sharks’ midfield remains injury free, Joubert will start his Sharks’ career in the Currie Cup as planned.
Lions to fight Rhodes ban – The Lions plan to appeal Michael Rhodes’s six-week suspension with John Mitchell citing inconsistencies in the disciplinary system.
Rhodes was banned for grabbing Highlanders wing Siale Piutau by the head at a ruck. Lions coach John Mitchell pointed out that Jean Deysel was suspended for two weeks for a similar offence against the Waratahs.
Mitchell says that Rhodes’s actions were unintentional and wants the sentence reduced. As it stands, Rhodes will not play again until 31 July.