Steyn returns to boost struggling Sharks

Durban based Super Rugby franchise the Sharks have been given a much needed boost on their tour of Australia and New Zealand as Frans Steyn is available for selection.

The 2007 Rugby World Cup winning back is eligible for selection again after serving his suspension for a dangerous tackle and is line to play against the Hurricanes.

“It’s wonderful to have a guy like Frans back,” said Director of Rugby Gary Gold on the Sharks website.

“Jannie du Plessis and Renaldo Bothma are also back which makes a difference for us, although we’ve lost Cobus who has returned home. It’s cruel how sport is – when things are bad they’re particularly bad. We’ve had an injury crisis but it is an opportunity for young guys to step up to the plate. We have some big challenges ahead but other teams have also been in this position before and came out stronger.”

Looking back at the match against the Highlanders, Gold said, “It was obviously a very disappointing game on the weekend, for all involved and certainly not the result we expected.

“We made a very good team look outstanding by making so many errors. We counted about 15 times we lost the ball, coughed up possession at critical times and against a team with a backline like theirs, they’re going to hurt you. We have a new challenge this weekend and the guys have worked particularly hard around fixing the error rate.”

Gold said that within the camp there has been deep introspection about fixing matters and above all is the desire to restore pride.

“The issue for us is that this is a matter of pride, of massive pride. We’ve let a lot of people down, we’ve let a lot of supporters down; the expectations were high for this team. I’m not about to provide any excuses for what happened in our performance, it was sub-standard and whatever the reasons are, we’ll investigate that. I take responsibility for it, I’ve said that before, but the bottom line is that we have to fix it.

“If we don’t fix it this weekend, we’re going to be on the end of another hiding and none of us wants that.”

“I have absolutely no doubt that we are going to learn a lot of lessons in the next few weeks and there are going to be some huge challenges awaiting us. From my point of view, this is a group that has to show that we want to fight for our pride and to show everyone what it means to us to be involved in The Sharks.”

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