Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Pat Lambie are expected to be rested for the Sharks' Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Force on Saturday.
The Springbok trio have featured in six consecutive matches for the Sharks, despite a verbal agreement with SA Rugby regarding the management of players, stating that no player should play more than five successive matches.
However, it seems the Sharks have decided to give some of their key players a rest this week. With Lambie taking a well-deserved rest, Frans Steyn is in line to take over at flyhalf, while Fred Zeilinga and Lionel Cronjé will also come into contention should the Sharks decide to retain their current midfield partnership.
'It’s a huge boost that we will have Frans available, it provides massive stability to the team, especially due to the changes we will have with the resting of the Springboks,' said assistant coach Paul Anthony.
'We have to rest Cobus, Marcell and Pat, we have to work in the greater picture of the national team. They allowed us to play them last weekend, so it’s our turn to reciprocate in a sense.'
Lambie has been a key player for the Sharks this season, and kicked all their points in the 12-11 win over the Chiefs, while taking over the captaincy following Bismarck du Plessis's red card.
'Effectively, the two-week break will be good for him. He’s taking his rest week now which he thoroughly deserves because he’s been magnificent for us. We will miss him but we know the guys coming in will add value.'
Despite losing the rested Springboks, Anthony believes the Sharks are well prepared for the challenge posed by the Force.
'We’ve prepared adequately because we knew they would have to be rested. We always had a rotation policy, so we were going to rest them anyway.
'Everyone in the squad is part of the package and they know they are all going to get a chance to play. We’ve planned for this, we’re ready. And we will be prepared for it in the future, because it’s going to happen again.'
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images