Alberts back in starting lineup for Sharks
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 2:12p.m.
Sharks lock Willem Alberts has returned to the Durban team's starting lineup for Saturday's first-round Super 15 playoff match against the defending champion Queensland Reds.
Prop Tendai Mtawarira, who was a late withdrawal from the Sharks' final-round win over the Cheetahs because of a gastrointestinal complaint, also returns to the starting 15 to join Bismarck du Plessis in the front row.
The other changes were in the backline, where Frans Steyn was replaced by Paul Jordaan at outside centre and Tim Whitehead shifted to inside centre.
Steyn was not eligible for the playoffs because he signed after the April 1 transfer deadline.
Louis Ludik replaces Pat Lambie after the Springbok had a recurrence of the ankle injury he sustained against England in June.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie called Alberts "an interesting selection" in the second row.
"They have got four genuine ball-carrying forwards out there that can make things happen, so it's an interesting game from a strategy point of view," McKenzie said.
"They can get serious momentum, a lot of ball continuity. They are good at getting results out of that risk-taking."
Without Lambie, the key for the Sharks will be their No. 10 - France's Frederic Michalak.
"He's got 50-plus test caps for France - that kind of experience you can't buy," Sharks captain Keegan Daniel said. "We will be looking at him to steer the ship for us."
Sharks team: Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Willem Alberts, Anton Bresler, Keegan Daniel (captain), Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Frederic Michalak, Lwazi Mvovo, Tim Whitehead, Paul Jordaan J.P. Pietersen, Louis Ludik. Replacements: Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Steven Sykes, Jacques Botes, Cobus Reinach, Meyer Bosman, Odwa Ndungane.
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