Michalak to lead French BaaBaas against SA 'A'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Legendary French utility back Fred Michalak will return to Durban later this year.
The 34-year-old, who spent three season with the Sharks, will lead the French Barbarians against the South African 'A' team
Rugby will make its much-anticipated debut at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday, June 16, when a star-studded French Barbarians side play against the SA 'A' team.
Michalak's first stint with the Sharks was in 2008, when he played nine Super Rugby matches and 11 Currie Cup matches.
He returned for a second stint - playing in 21 Super Rugby matches and 16 Currie Cup outings in 2011 and 2012.
Durban will host two 'international matches that weekend - with the SA 'A' versus French BaaBaas encounter on the Friday to be followed by the second encounter in the three-Test series between the Springboks and French national team at neighbouring Kings Park on the Saturday.
"We are happy to be associated with this historic match, which the eThekwini Municipality-Moses Mabhida Stadium has been instrumental in bringing to Durban," Sharks CEO Gary Teichmann said.
"We at The Sharks are gearing up to host an exciting Test Match the following day and the support of our community is instrumental to the success of this double-header weekend of rugby in our province."
SA Rugby Union President Mark Alexander was also pleased with the developments.
"The excitement around the matches between SA 'A' and the French Barbarians is palpable as it adds something new and exciting to our existing rugby landscape," Alexander said.
"Moses Mabhida Stadium will provide the perfect backdrop for the series-opener between two teams that will be full of Test and future stars in both South Africa and France, and we are hoping that many non-traditional fans will join our die-hard supporters at these matches.
"Last year, the SA 'A' team and England's Saxons put up two very tough encounters in which 15 tries were scored, and we're expecting nothing less this time around.
"We all know the French like to throw the ball around and SA 'A' coach Johan Ackermann's Lions have shown their attacking intent in the last couple of seasons."