John Plumtree Frustrated With Injuries To Key Forwards


A visibly frustrated Hollywoodbets Sharks head coach John Plumtree opened up on his frustration with injuries in his camp as they prepare to face the DHL Stormers in their United Rugby Championship clash in Durban.

Plumbtree has revealed that Eben Etzebeth has undergone knee surgery, which is expected to sideline the Springbok enforcer for several weeks. Etzebeth last featured for the Sharks off the bench in a Champions Cup victory against French outfit Oyonnax on 13 January.

“It’s a long season and I feel like I’ve been handicapped by the fact that I’ve had a lot of injuries. We are now in February and it is Bongi’s Mbonambi first game coming up and he is our No.1 hooker,” Plumtree said.

“Eben Etzebeth has started playing and now had a knee operation so he’ll only be back in a few weeks."

“We know that we got a really strong pack, but I haven’t been able to put that pack on the park.”

“We got injuries to key players and that has probably been the biggest frustration for me."

“We probably had six operations to tight-five players. It’s been really tough to have the depth that we needed up front.”

“So it’s been a bit frustrating for me that I haven’t been able to put out the kind of pack I’ve wanted to. If I put out the pack that I’ve wanted to, it makes the bench a lot stronger, with fresh legs coming off the bench after 60 minutes.”

Asked which of the Durban outfit’s Bok contingent will or won’t be available for selection this week Plumtree said “What’s today? I’ll name the team on Friday don’t I, or Thursday? I’m giving you a heads-up on the team a little early but I will say there are Springboks rested and there are Springboks still injured.

“Lukhanyo is playing, that’s why he is here otherwise he’ll probably be on holiday. It’s not ideal but we understand the importance of it. These boys have got a long season of playing Northern Hemisphere rugby and Southern Hemisphere rugby, which is crazy, isn’t it?

“Until the players are committed to one hemisphere there’ll be a lot of disruption [in the interim], and hopefully that will happen over the next couple of years.”