Shark’s tighthead prop Oosthuizen could miss the entire Super Rugby tournament
Sharks Super Rugby coach Robert du Preez has revealed that Springbok tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen could miss the entire Super Rugby tournament.
Oosthuizen suffered a knee injury in the 38-3 loss to Ireland in Dublin last year and was ruled out for a significant period of time.
This means Du Preez will have to look elsewhere for a world-class tight-head prop while there's also the matter of his son Jean-luc and his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in the Currie Cup final loss to Western Province in October last year.
However‚ there was better news on his front as the loose-forward's recovery is on track and could feature at some point this season.
“We try to monitor all the individual players and there's a guy like Coenie who is going to be out for nine months since he got injured‚ but he'll probably miss Super Rugby at this stage‚” Du Preez said.
“Jean-luc had that operation on his ankle and with a conservative estimate‚ Jean-luc will be back for the trip to Australia and New Zealand.
“We've been monitoring the guys who are based in Japan.
“Stephan Lewies had a bit of a hip pointer but he's in very good shape while Lwazi Mvovo and Philip van der Walt will join us next week Monday.
“Andre Esterhuizen will only come back later as his club is involved in a promotion/relegation game.”
The Sharks will open their Super Rugby campaign against last year's losing finalists the Lions on February 16‚ a game that could have more than a whiff of revenge after last season's highly controversial quarter-final that was won by the Lions.
Du Preez also has a selection quandary to deal with as his son Robert du Preez junior has moved to the Sharks on the back of masterminding Western Province's Currie Cup final win against the Sharks in October.
Du Preez said there was going to be some intense competition at flyhalf as Curwin Bosch is a capped Springbok.
The Sharks have also added Braam van Straaten and Dick Muir to their coaching staff.
“Robert and Curwin have been working well together and I think for the first time in my two years here‚ I think there won't be any complacency because there's so much competition in the team and that's exactly what we want.
“Guys are really going to work hard to get into the starting line-up. It's a long season and we have to think carefully in terms of giving everyone a chance.
“Our success will hinge on how effectively we use our squad‚” Du Preez said.
“Braam is going to be responsible for defence and kicking. His latter duties will extend through to the Academy but it's great to have coaches of that experience.
“Dick has been involved with the Boks and has coached the Sharks before.”