Sharks bolstered by Boks’ return

Date published: March 5 2015

Springboks trio JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn and Willem Alberts will start for the Sharks when they face the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.

Pietersen and Steyn have returned from Japan and no time has been wasted introducing them to the starting line-up, while Willem Alberts has been given the all-clear to play after spending time rehabbing an injury.

JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn have also proven themselves at training and they form a new centre partnership.

Ryan Kankowski will join the elite group of Super Rugby centurions when he plays in his 100th game for the Sharks, in a back row bolstered by the return of Alberts, especially in light of the kind of talent that lurks at the back of the Stormers scrum in the shape of SA Rugby Player of the Year in 2014, Duane Vermeulen.

Injuries to Tera Mtembu (knee), Jean Deysel (ankle), Stephan Lewies (knee) and Etienne Oosthuizen (knee) meant they were not considered for selection.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Jack Wilson.

Date: Saturday, March 7
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.10 local (17.10 GMT, 06.10 NZST, 04.10 AEST)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)