Weakened Sharks lose Beast
April 22, 2013
Tendai Mtawarira has a calf injury © PA Photos
Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira has been sidelined for a month after sustaining a calf injury in the Sharks' loss to the Cheetahs in Durban on Saturday, further weakening the under-performing side's already undermanned tour squad to play in Australia and New Zealand.
Backs Lwazi Mvovo (hand), Tim Whitehead (hand), Butch James (knee), Louis Ludik (shoulder) and forwards Bismarck du Plessis (knee), Jacques Botes (hand) and Willem Alberts (shoulder) had already been ruled out of the squad to play the Chiefs, the Highlanders, Queensland Reds and Western Force, and last year's beaten finalists must now fear losing all four tour matches.
Andries Coetzee, who had been called up on loan from the Lions, will miss the the replay of last year's final against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday after he went off with a suspected dislocated shoulder against the Cheetahs. Two other players are on loan for the tour - flanker Derick Minnie and centre Piet Lindeque.
No. 8 Ryan Kankowski has been dropped because of poor form, while winger JP Pietersen has been included in the tour squad despite an ankle concern.
Sharks coach John Plumtree said: "It's not looking good for 'Beast' [Mtawarira] and he won't be on the plane. He's probably out for four weeks. I was really disappointed about Andries, because I thought he played really well, too. He could be out for a couple of months."