Sharks suffer double setback

Willem Alberts and Pat Lambie failed fitness tests on Wednesday afternoon and won’t play against the Bulls at Kings Park on Friday night.

While the Sharks have lost two Boks to injury, they do at least welcome back another in Frans Steyn, who will make his first appearance for the franchise since 2009.

Among the forwards, Ryan Kankowski comes in at No 8, while Steven Sykes’ injury will see Pieter-Steph du Toit make his first start in the second row having played off the bench on four previous occasions.

Sharks coach John Plumtree admitted his team were feeling the pressure going into this must-win game.

‘We had a gun to our heads then, we got onto a winning streak and then let ourselves down against the Lions,’ he said. ‘Clearly, when the gun is pointed straight between our eyes, we react better, which is a bit unfortunate. But this is a home game for us and we’re looking forward to a big crowd to help us out.

‘We have a few worries, but there is plenty of character in this group and we have to dig deep on the weekend and get on top of this Bulls team that is riding pretty high at the moment.’

Sharks – 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Beast Mtawarira
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane