Good news appears to suddenly be coming in clusters for the Cell C Sharks, who have followed on from their opening Vodacom Super Rugby win against the Emirates Lions with what for director of rugby Gary Gold will be a pleasing wave of important players returning to the mix.
On Sunday morning, the day after his team scored what he called a “relieving” win over the Lions, Gold received the news that the 2 Japanese clubs that backline kingpins JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn play for were both knocked out of their competition this past weekend. That means they will be back sooner rather than later, and will probably be available for the crucial game against the Stormers in Cape Town the week after next.
“I suppose it’s not nice for those players to lose but it is good news for us,” grinned Gold.
Then on Monday a man that Gold would really like to see in action as soon as possible as he is such an important cog in the forward machine, Willem Alberts, took part in full training for the first time. He could also be ready for the Stormers game.
Also at the 2-hour middle of the day training session on a Kings Park outerfield was Ryan Kankowski. The former Springbok No 8 is now into his 2nd week back from Japan and will be available for Saturday’s clash with the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus.
On Thursday 5 February, 2015 the Cell C Sharks will play Toulon in a pre-season friendly at the Stade Mayol in a North vs South Challenge match.
This match gives fans the opportunity of seeing the likes of Mouritz Botha and Renaldo Bothma (forwards) and Paul Perez and Waylon Murray (backs) in action for the Cell C Sharks, along with team regulars in a competitive pre-season hit-out against the four time French National competition winners and back-to-back Heineken Cup champions in 2013 and 2014.
The following players make up the touring squad to France:
New Sharks boss Gary Gold and Springbok Frans Steyn will both be back in Durban soon.
This follows after the semi-finals of the Japanese Top League – which will see the Wild Knights play Júbilo in the Final, after they defeated the Brave Lupus and Kobe Steelers respectively.
It means the Sharks Director of Rugby, Gold, and the Bok utility back, Steyn, among others, are heading home for Super Rugby.
In the first semi-final the Wild Knights ran in 4 first-half tries and added 1 more in the second stanza as they avenged 2 earlier defeats this season to the Toshiba Brave Lupus, winning 50 / 15.
Steyn’s Brave Lupus team suffering a heavy defeat means that the Sharks versatile back can return to his Durban franchise earlier than expected.
Steyn will be following his newly appointed coach Gary Gold home after the Kobe Steelers lost 12 / 41 in another hammering to Júbilo who reached their first ever Top League Final.
Katsuyuki Kiyomiya’s side ran in 2 tries in the first half and 4 in the second to upset the Steelers, who had finished the regular season on top of the Group A standings.
He hasn’t ruled it out completely, but Springbok centre Frans Steyn says it’s unlikely he’ll play international rugby again.
Steyn, 27, shocked the rugby fraternity in June this year when he made himself unavailable for Springbok selection shortly before a Test against Wales in Durban, after playing against a World XV in Cape Town the previous week.
It emerged that his decision to pull out of the Springbok squad was due to a monetary dispute with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) regarding his image rights, which were handled by a third party.
”Ek is nie ’n kind nie.”
Só het Frans Steyn glo op die laaste krisisvergadering tussen hom en die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) gesê voordat hy opgestaan, uitgeloop en die Springbok-groep vaarwel geroep het.
Dit was nadat meer as een vergadering tussen hom en SARU oor sy terugkeer uit Frankryk skipbreuk gely het.
SARU het aanvanklik in 2012 skriftelik ingestem om Steyn se kontrak met ’n Franse bemarkingsmaatskappy uit te koop sodat hy weer heeltyds vir Suid-Afrika beskikbaar kon wees. SARU het die paaiemente daarvoor stiptelik betaal – tot in Januarie 2013 toe betalings skielik eensydig gestaak is.
Frans Steyn has moved into the flyhalf position with Paul Jordaan recovering from injury to take his No 12 jersey in a strong Sharks team.
Director of Rugby Jake White has named a strong side for this derby game, opting to start with a formidable side that has been the hallmark of this team throughout the competition.
Of the injured trio of Paul Jordaan, Pat Lambie and Beast Mtawarira all receiving scans this week to confirm or deny a return to rugby, it was only Jordaan who was passed fit.
He has been included alongside JP Pietersen in the midfield. Steyn takes over from Tim Swiel at flyhalf and Fred Zeilinga has been named as back-up off the bench.
Ryan Kankowski is back at No 8 after withdrawing from last week’s game with a groin strain, and White has bolstered the starting line-up with three Boks who played off the bench last week, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis and brother and captain Bismarck du Plessis.
The Cell C Sharks will return to Vodacom Super Rugby action this coming weekend one position lower on the log than they were when they went into the June break, but there is plenty of reason for them to be optimistic about their chances of going all the way to the title.
While the Sharks were out on their feet when the June international window arrived, as evidenced by their lame performance in the narrow home loss to the DHL Stormers, the break may have come at just the right time for them. During the off period they have welcomed Patrick Lambie and Anton Bresler back to training, while Jean Deysel is now over his suspension that was incurred for the stomping incident that saw him being sent off against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Willem Alberts, one of the players who was looking tired before the break, had the week off from international duty last weekend because of the concussion that forced him off the field in the second test against Wales. He should be relatively refreshed when he does return, be it this week against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein or next week against the Stormers in Cape Town.
The Cell C Sharks players not in the Springbok camp all returned to Kings Park this week as they start preparing for the final stages of the Super Rugby tournament, Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick reports.
In two weeks’ time, they will resume duty against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, followed by their final pool match, against the Stormers in Cape Town. The knockout stages follow with the Sharks already guaranteed a place in the top three, having already secured the South African Conference.
The players have had a mixed programme over the June break, alternating rest with gym work and field training to balance the needs to break from the game, without losing strength and fitness.
The SA Rugby Union (Saru) has denied reports that it had reneged on a contractual promise made to Springbok fullback Frans Steyn which led to his sudden withdrawal from the national squad on Tuesday evening.
“I can confirm that there was a dispute over mechanisms by which one element of Frans’s Springbok remuneration was to be paid,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said in a statement on Thursday.
“That issue was addressed. Some minor details remain to be sorted out, but they are not of such a scale as to be a cause for a major upheaval.”
Frans Steyn was released from the Springbok squad at his own request on Tuesday and will not appear in Saturday’s match against Wales at Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban.
The player advised SARU officials that that he did not wish to be considered for the Castle Lager Incoming series. “The environment in the Springbok squad is fantastic and I would like to state categorically that my relationship with Heyneke Meyer, the rest of the management and my team-mates is very good,” said Steyn.
Steyn – who is expected to take up a contract in Japan at the end of Vodacom Super Rugby Series – said that he wished for time to reflect on his Springbok future.
Japanese Rugby club Toshiba Brave Lupus have announced that Springbok Frans Steyn and All Black flanker Tanerau Latimer have signed with the club.
The club have won the Japanese Top league four times and already have the likes of Richard Kahui and Cooper Vuna on their books.
The good news is that the chronic knee injury that Frans Steyn is currently playing with won’t get worse and stop him from playing, but the bad news is that it is going to have to be managed for the rest of his playing career.
Steyn was the subject of quite a lot of consternation when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was concerned about his condition during last week’s national training camp in Durban. However, the Bok management denied suggestions in some media forums that they were unhappy with the Sharks for playing Steyn through the injury, and it now appears the Boks might manage Steyn in the same way the Sharks have – by limiting the load placed on his affected knee in training.
Cell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.
Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.
Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.
While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.
Former Western Province coach Alan Zondagh says Frans Steyn should play ahead of Morné Steyn at flyhalf for the Springboks.
Morné was not included in the 36-man Bok training squad named earlier this week due to commitments with his French club, Stade Francais.
He is however expected to be included in the final squad to be named on 31 May and many pundits feel he will remain Meyer’s choice for the No 10 jersey.
Reports that Sharks and Springbok utility back Frans Steyn is set to play in Japan after this year’s Super Rugby competition should be seen as a win-win situation.
Local media and even a pay-TV station speculated about the reported move on Friday, but the facts appear to be fuzzy and even squishy.
Jake White has announced his team to take on the Melbourne Rebels on their 1st game of their Antipodian tour.
Frans Steyn is selected at flyhalf, with Fred Zeilinga on the bench and Tim Swiel falling out of the match-day 23.
Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White is yet to decide whether Frans Steyn or Tim Swiel will start at flyhalf against the Cheetahs this weekend.
Fred Zeilinga injured his hamstring in the victory over the Lions at Ellis Park last Saturday and was replaced by Steyn who shifted from inside centre and performed well at pivot.
Zeilinga joins first-choice flyhalf Pat Lambie on the sidelines, with his injury expected to rule him out for a couple of weeks, which leaves White with an interesting decision.
Just how will Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer go into any international this year without the boot of Frans Steyn?
The big midfielder underlined his importance with four massive penalties and a conversion for a total of 14 points as the Cell C Sharks returned to the top of the Vodocom Super Rugby table with a 25-12 win over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
SANZAR has handed out two one-week bans to players for foul play, while the Sharks’ Springbok centre Frans Steyn was given an off-field yellow card.
Jannie Lubbe, the SANZAR judicial officer, accepted a guilty plea from Waratahs midfielder Rob Horne for contravening Law 10.4 (e): Dangerous tackling.
Francois Steyn is happy to see the Lions back in Vodacom Super Rugby – but he has warned that the competition returnees can expect no mercy from his Sharks team when the team’s clash in a derby at Growthpoint Kings Park on Saturday evening.
This is the 7th article in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for MIDFIELD in the Cell C Sharks 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Sharks centre Francois Steyn is set to undergo minor surgery that will rule him out of action for at least three weeks.
Steyn, 26, underwent surgery in May this year after he injured his leg playing for the Sharks against the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition.
The Shark have named close on their strongest starting line-up for Saturday’s Absa semi-final clash with Free State as they look to emulate four of the past five campaigns.
The Sharks featured in the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 finals and will be hoping to make it a fifth appointment (seeking their third victorious campaign after titles in 2008 and 2010) this year if they can see off Free State’s challenge.
Sharks coach John Plumtree has been able to name a settled side to take on the Reds on Friday, making just four changes to last week’s starting line-up, two of them enforced through injury.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing dismissed the citing of Frans Steyn following the match against the Chiefs which obviously is a huge relief for a team who cannot afford to keep losing players.
Sharks coach John Plumtree has made seven changes to the Sharks team to face the rebels this coming weekend, Poor performances by some have forced the coach’s hand and it has led to the good performances by youngsters getting rewarded with a start.
World Cup-winning Springbok midfielder Frans Steyn will take over the captaincy of the Sharks.
Sharks coach John Plumtree confirmed that the 25-year-old will fill the void left by the absence of regular skipper Keegan Daniel through injury.
Super Rugby News is now starting to come thick and fast!
Below you can read about the Super Rugby HALFTIME BREAKS being extended to 12 minutes, about Ben Mowen who remains Brumbies Captain, about the Super Rugby Draw for 2013, about Bismarck du Plessis’ injury and Frans Steyn gearing up for the 2013 season and about Wynand Olivier who is still in Japan. Tamati Ellison will miss the majority of the Competition for the Highlanders, due to injury.
And then, if a sub-standard squad was not enough, the Southern Kings lose two key forwards due to injury.
The Sharks have returned to Mr Price KINGS PARK on Monday after their Christmas break and will continue building a fitness and conditioning platform from which to launch and sustain their 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby challenge.
While Sunday offers some fun in the form of the cricket match against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, the Durban weather at this time of the year coupled with the watchful eyes of the conditioning and coaching staff means that this is always the hardest time of the year for Sharks players.
In this Article we look at the contenders for CENTRES at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.
The Sharks for the first time in a long time have a solid midfield, and to top it they have more than one option, the secret though is going to be which combination would suit the team’s dynamics the best.
I would like to try and explain the two centre position as many seem to get confused between the two, for example,“ What kind of player would you want at inside centre or outside centre” contrary to many beliefs in my opinion the center combination should be 2 players with different skill sets.
In this Article we look at the contenders for FLYHALVES at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.
FLYHALF – this is the position the Sharks now have the most depth they have had in a long time, even with the departure of the French general, Freddy Michalak.
The Sharks are in a position where they at least always have parity at scrum time and for the most part should win the breakdown clashes! This allows for their halfbacks to be more involved in games and they are also able to set up running lines and control games more effectively.
According to the Beeld website it has been confirmed that the Sharks will play two friendly warm-up games against two local sides as part of their preparations for Super Rugby.
Keegan Daniel’s men will play the Leopards on 8 February at the Woodburn stadium in Pietermaritzburg and a week later (15 February) they will face the Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
The convincing win of the Springboks on Saturday was followed by news on the injury front.
Most notably Francois Steyn, who rolled his left ankle last Monday morning, will have to undergo an operation to clean the ankle up and will be sidelined for 3 months recovering from the surgery.
Springboks utility back Frans Steyn has signed a three year deal with the Sharks after his contract with Racing Metro came to an end.
In recent days there has been some speculation that Francois Steyn could be moving back to South Africa, and of course the speculation started who could vie for his services.
One of the candidates touted to have offered Steyn employment, of course, is the Golden Lions Rugby Union, but apparently that is not the case… yet.