Jake White has hinted that he may choose to rest some of his Springboks ahead of the Super Rugby play-offs.
The Sharks have secured top spot in the South African conference and therefore can't finish any lower than third on the overall log.
The aim is obviously to finish in the top two positions and secure a bye while the other sides compete in what are effectively the quarter-finals, but White is thought to have decided to rest some key players in a bid to freshen them up for the final run-in.
'The Boks can have a rest. If we box clever we can let the Springboks have a little time away, so we could be in a really good space come play-off time,' said White ahead of his team's trip to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs.
Players like the Du Plessis brothers and Willem Alberts have seen an inordinate amount of rugby this season, with a number of pundits calling for them to be given a break. Meanwhile, White is likely to welcome Frans Steyn and Pat Lambie back into the fold, while Anton Bressler is another who is nearing full fitness. Jean Deysel is also waiting in the wings having served his suspension for a stamp during the match against the Crusaders.
White has plotted his team's path to the play-offs and beyond, and remains bullish about his teams abilities, even if they are to travel.
'The nice thing about where we are is that we’ve won the conference, we are going to play play-off rugby and the worst-case scenario is that we’re going to have to win three games, one at home and two away, to win the competition,' said White. 'But from a positive point of view, we’ve been the best South African touring side, so we’re not worried about having to win away from home. We have to make sure we’re on song for the play-offs, whether it’s a quarter-final first or straight to the semi-finals.'
The Sharks will close out the regular season against the Stormers at Newlands following their match against the Cheetahs on Saturday.
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