Frans the fullback

Frans Steyn has been moved to fullback by Sharks coach John Plumtree as a result of a Louis Ludik shoulder niggle.

Steyn is one of a few changes made by Plumtree ahead of the Sharks’ match against the Crusaders this Friday. Odwa Ndungange joins Steyn and JP Pietersen as the back three. Plumtree noted that Steyn is comfortable at fullback, especially given his long kicking game and his defence. The extra space from the back will also aid his attacking game.

Meyer Bosman and Paul Jordaan link up in midfield while Pat Lambie continues to run the show from flyhalf, with the young Cobus Reinach inside him.

Marcell Coetzee has recovered from the knock he took to start in a light loose trio with captain Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes. Pieter-Steph du Toit and Franco van der Merwe link up in the second row, keeping a ‘fuming’ Anton Bresler on the bench.

Jannie du Plessis starts again after the birth of his child, dropping Wiehahn Herbst back to the bench. Kyle Cooper is preferred to Craig Burden after his good showing against the Rebels, which should see a better lineout opposition for the Crusaders.

Louis Ludik’s injury might keep him from the match 22 altogether, should that happen, Sbura Sithole has been bracketed with him. The bench is packed with experience in Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod and Riaan Viljoen to make an impact in the latter stages.

Sharks: 15. Frans Steyn, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Keegan Daniel (Capt), 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Tendai Mtawarira. Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Ryan Kankowski, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Riaan Viljoen, 22. Louis Ludik / Sbura Sithole.

By Richard Ferguson