AJ takes out unlucky Ackers

Sharks lock Johan Ackermann has been ruled out of tonight’s clash with the Cats in Rustenburg.

The former Bok lock was injured during a line-out at training, when AJ Venter’s arm accidently smashed into his face. Ackermann left the field dazed and confused.

Coach Dick Muir told Mercury rugby writer Mike Greenaway that he was disappointed that the 35-year-old veteran would miss the Cats game.

“I was keen to look at the combination of Ackers and Johann Muller in the second row, with AJ on the flank,” said Muir. “But I will now have to move AJ back to lock. Ackers should be OK by the time we play the Chiefs.”

Meanwhile, Muir has chosen a few players in different positions from the last set of matches against the Bulls.

In the first game Nico Breedt and Jaco Gouws are swapped around and in the second, Brett Hennessey takes over from the injured JP Pietersen at fullback, Henno Mentz gets a start on the wing, Jacques Botes shifts from eighthman to flank and Braam Immelman is given the No 8 jersey.

Samoan Daniel Farani gets a start after coming off the bench against the Bulls and Johann Muller takes over from Albert van den Berg, while Brendon Botha returns from injury and Heinke van der Merwe replaces injured Deon Carstens. In the final change, Jody Jenneker is given a run in place of Bismarck du Plessis at hooker.

MATCH 1 (5pm)

15. Greg Goosen, 14. Craig Burden, 13. Grant Rees, 12. Bradley Barritt, 11. AN Other, 10. Scott Spedding, 9. Scott Mathie, 8. Nico Breedt, 7. Jaco Gouws, 6. Solly Tyibilika, 5. Albert van den Berg, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Brent Moyle, 2. Skipper Badenhorst, 1. Danie Saayman

Cats: 15 Oginga Siwundla, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Dewey Swartbooi, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jorrie Muller, 10 Andre Hough, 9 Dave von Hoesslin, 8 Russell Winter, 7 Gerhard Vosloo, 6 Roland Bernard, 5 Gordon Gilfillan, 4 KleinJan Tromp, 3 Bertus Smit, 2 Delarey du Preez, 1 Lawrence Sephaka.

MATCH 2 (7pm)

Sharks: 15. Brett Hennessey, 14. Henno Mentz, 13. Gcoboni Bobo, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Dusty Noble, 10. Percy Montgomery, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Braam Immelman, 7. Daniel Farani, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller, 4. AJ Venter, 3. BJ Botha, 2. Jody Jenneker, 1. Heinke van der Merwe

Cats: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Ashwin Willemse, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Grant Esterhuizen, 10 Tiaan Snyman, 9 Enrico Januarie/Jano Vermaak, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Wikus van Heerden (c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Jannes Labuschagne/Willem Stoltz, 4 Trevor Hall, 3 Marius Hurter/Daniel Muller, 2 Lukas van Biljon, 1 Pietman van Niekerk/Heinrich Kok.

Sharks Reserves
Bismarck du Plessis, Warren Britz, Sandile Nxumalo

Cats Reserves
Ethienne Reynecke, Pietie Ferreira, Arno Coetzee, John Daniels