The good news for the Natal Sharks is that Springbok utility back Frans Steyn is set to make a comeback to the from an ankle injury sustained in June last year, however they are still unsure about the availability of their wrecking ball Bismarck du Plessis.
Steyn looks ready to make his first Super Rugby start for the Sharks since 2010 after returning from a two year stint with French club Racing Metro. Steyn made a big impact when returning to play for the Springboks in 2012 and will be looking to build on that and ultimately cement his place once again in the national set up.
The Sharks Springbok hooker who seriously damaged his right knee in their opening game of the Rugby Championships last year is still undergoing rehab for the injury and according to captain Keegan Daniels, may not be ready for the opening game of the season.
“Frans ran this morning and is doing pretty well, he’s right on schedule but Bismarck will take a bit longer, he had a big injury, but the medical team is working hard with him. The first week is always really tough as the guys get back into it, there’s a lot of hard work to be done with Super Rugby just around the corner and we obviously want to get out of the starting blocks as quickly as possible,” explained Daniel.
Daniels also commented on his team’s commitment and enthusiasm in training so far showing their excitement for the season ahead.
“The mood was good and there’s a buzz with all the guys catching up again, but we all know why we are here and what we want to achieve this season.”
Despite reaching both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup finals, the Durban based team failed to take home any silverware, but Daniels insists that valuable lessons were learned from 2012.
“We were consistent in the fact that we made finals, but in terms of our performances we probably weren’t as consistent as we would have liked, We slipped up at times in the last competition, which put us under pressure towards the end. We want to be a lot more consistent in the way we perform in the games early on this season.” he said.
He also insisted the he himself had grown into the captains role and will be more prepared to lead the team in 2013.
“I learnt quite a bit and grew as well, but I continuously want to keep on learning and growing as a leader. A new season comes with new challenges, and I’m keen to meet them head on. But like Jean [de Villiers] always said, you can’t steer the ship on your own, you need support, and I think there is a good support group below me.” concluded Daniels.