The Sharks have announced their 24 man team for their pre-season match at the Woodburn stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.
Surprisingly the captain for the first two warm up matches is none other than Francois Steyn, who was capped 56 times before leaving to play in France and then returning towards the end of the 2012 season.
The Sharks take on the Leopards in their first match and then travel to Nelspruit the following weekend for their 2nd pre-season friendly.
With last year’s vice-captain Bismarck du Plessis still in rehab for a knee injury and expected to miss the first few rounds of Super Rugby, it makes a lot of sense to have Steyn deputise for team captain Keegan Daniel.
John plumtree explained that “Frans Steyn is captain because Keegan Daniel is going to play off the bench in the first warm up match” after their Tuesday morning field session.
“I saw him as good back up to Keegan and it’s an opportunity for him to grow his leadership. I’ve noticed a big difference in him in terms of his personality and character since he’s come back from France. The players have a lot of respect for him as an individual and as a player.
“He’s a very competitive person, he doesn’t like to come second in anything he does and he’s probably going to be a regular starter.”
The Sharks side to play the Leopards is an interesting mix of new and old, with Franco van der Merwe getting a run for his new team together with the likes of regular campaigners in Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane all starting, with plenty of experience to come off the bench.
- Allan Dell
- Kyle Cooper
- Wiehahn Herbst
- Pieter-Steph du Toit
- Franco van der Merwe
- Jacques Botes
- Jean Deysel
- Lubabalo Mtembu
- Charl McLeod
- Patrick Lambie
- Lwazi Mvovo
- Francois Steyn (Captain)
- Tim Whitehead
- Odwa Ndungane
- Riaan Viljoen
Replacements 16 Craig Burden, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Paul Jordaan, 24 Louis Ludik.
Kick off is at 19:00.