Steyn takes centre stage

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 15:49
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World Cup-winning Springbok utility back Frans Steyn will make his first appearance in a Sharks jersey - since 2009 - on Friday.

World Cup-winning Springbok utility back Frans Steyn will make his first appearance in a Sharks jersey - since 2009 - on Friday.

It was confirmed that Steyn, who made 56 appearances for the Durban-based franchise before heading overseas three years ago, will play at inside centre in a crunch Super Rugby match against the Bulls.

While the return of the powerful Bok will be celebrated, two other of the Sharks' many internationals have been ruled out.

The Sharks delayed naming their team until after Wednesday's afternoon training session to allow for fitness tests on Patrick Lambie (fullback/flyhalf) and loose forward Willem Alberts.

However, both have been ruled out of the encounter with the visitors from Pretoria after suffering injuries in the Springboks' 2-0 series win over England.

Alberts suffered a knee injury during the second Test against England in Johannesburg last month and Lambie injured his ankle in the same match.

But even without Lambie, the Sharks will still field a very impressive backline - with just two non-internationals in the mix.

French international Fred Michalak, fresh off a great return to Test rugby, will partner Charl McLeod at halfback. Steyn will be partnered in the midfield by Tim Whitehead (who is uncapped). Bok wingers Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen and the uncapped Louis Ludik complete the backline.

Ryan Kankowski's freshness, hunger and admirable performance in the final Test against England has seen him come into the starting line-up - with new Bok Marcell Coetzee and captain Keegan Daniel completing the loose forward combination.

In the second row, the loss of Steven Sykes to injury opens the door for Baby Bok Pieter-Steph du Toit to gain his first start - having played off the bench on four previous occasions. He will partner Anton Bresler.

There is no change to the preferred Sharks' all-Springbok front row of Beast Mtawarira, along with brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandré Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane.

Date: Friday, July 6
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Tiaan Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
Bulls v Kings 30 | 31
Waratahs v Jaguares 27 | 40
New Zealand v B&I Lions 15 | 15
Fri, 07 July 2017
Force v Rebels 31 | 22
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28