• ‘Half of Frans has come back’

    Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold says a leaner-looking Frans Steyn may no longer be used as a battering ram.

    Steyn returned to Durban from Japan earlier this week along with JP Pietersen. The Bok duo have been named in the Sharks midfield for Saturday's match against the Stormers at Newlands.

    Gold said he had no problem rushing them back into the starting XV at the expense of André Esterhuizen and Waylon Murray.

    'They’re hugely experienced Springboks and they are coming back to a group of players they’ve been with for a long time, it’s not like this is a new team for them.

    'And it’s not as if they haven’t been playing rugby. They came straight back in because they’ve been playing rugby week in and week out in Japan. I don’t think it’s a gamble bringing them right back in, their experience is going to help us through the spine of the team and will hopefully help Bissie [Bismarck du Plessis] and Patrick [Lambie] with the leadership throughout the whole team.'

    Gold said there might be a subtle change to Steyn's style given his new physique.

    'Half of Frans has come back from Japan, I’m not sure we’re going to use him as a battering ram. But his play-making ability is exceptional, we want to try and have an opportunity where we can play a brand of rugby where we have two first receivers, Frans has played 10 as well and that makes a big difference.

    'And JP’s versatility will help us as well. Hopefully, it’s having the all-round package with the older heads in what I think is going to be a very pressured situation down at Newlands.'

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    Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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    Simon Borchardt