Pietersen, Lewies fit to tour

JP Pietersen and Stephan Lewies have been named in the Sharks' 27-man squad for their Australasian tour.

They have recovered from their respective injuries and will join the squad for their four-match tour, which includes matches against the Highlanders, Hurricanes, Waratahs and Reds.

The Sharks will also be boosted by the return of captain Bismarck du Plessis from suspension for their opening tour match against the Highlanders, while Frans Steyn will be eligible for the match against the Hurricanes.

The Durban-based franchise head into the tour languishing in ninth place on the overall log, needing at least two positive results if they're to keep themselves in play-off contention.

'Tours are funny things, I’ve seen teams in far worse positions than us fight to get back and I’m not giving up the fight in any way, shape or form,' said Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold. 'I’m keen to work with these guys in adverse times – that’s when you see true warriors come out.

'That’s our challenge: we are down but we’re not out and now is the time to stand up and fight back. If we come back fighting in the last six games, we’ll salvage a lot of respect.'

However, the Sharks will be without a number of key players, with Pat Lambie and Pieter-Steph du Toit still sidelined through injury. They are joined by Ryan Kankowski, SP Marais, Tera Mtembu and Jean Deysel (suspension).

Sharks touring squad – Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Mouritz Botha, Renaldo Bothma, Dale Chadwick, Marcell Coetzee, Lionel Cronje, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, André Esterhuizen, Conrad Hoffmann, Stephan Lewies, Franco Marais, Tendai Mtawarira, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Waylon Murray, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Etienne Oosthuizen, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, S’bura Sithole, Matt Stevens, Francois Steyn, Stefan Ungerer, Marco Wentzel, Fred Zeilinga.

Photo: Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix