Du Toit return boosts Sharks

Sharks and Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit is back in training ahead of the new Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Du Toit missed much of last season with a severe ACL injury and although his recovery has been a slow and tedious process, he's shown no discomfort in pre-season training so far.

The Sharks have also been boosted by the return of Willem Alberts, who's been out of action since undergoing back surgery in a bid to address a recurring injury.

Alberts, along with Du Toit, has been in training since November and the Springbok flank says his progress is going well.

'I have no discomfort and it's good to be back at practice again with the guys after the frustration of last year,' Alberts told Netwerk24.

One player who's yet to return to training this year is Stephan Lewies. Having played a crucial role in Du Toit's absence last season, the Sharks will be keen to get him fit and firing as soon as possible.

With director of rugby Gary Gold still tied up with commitments in Japan, former coach Brendan Venter has taken charge of training in the interim, along with the rest of the coaching team of Brad MacLeod-Henderson, Sean Everitt and Paul Anthony.

The Sharks will start their pre-season with a training game against a team made up of various Durban clubs in two weeks, before heading overseas to face the French and European champions, Toulon.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images