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
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19