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Coetzee back in Sharks line-up

Durban - Marcell Coetzee has returned to the Sharks' starting line-up after a three week absence and is the only change for their Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers in Durban on Friday.

The Springbok flanker, who returned early from their successful Australasian tour with a shoulder problem, replaces veteran Jacques Botes from the team that beat the Blues 29-23 in Albany last Friday.

Marcell Coetzee has returned to the Sharks' starting line-up after a three week absence and is the only change for their Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers in Durban. Photo: Steve Haag. Credit: Gallo Images

Loose forward Willem Alberts and centre S'bura Sithole have both recovered sufficiently from hamstring problems to take their places.

“They tweaked a little bit in that game against the Blues,” director of rugby Jake White said.

“It's a grade one and with treatment they should be fine.”

Utility man Frans Steyn, who has a chronic knee problem, continues at flyhalf where he has been for most of the campaign after injuries to Pat Lambie and Fred Zeilinga.

Along with Coetzee and six others, the trio took part in a Springbok training camp held in Durban earlier in the week, although their participation was limited due to the injury niggles.

“They all seem to be fine, there's no feedback of any niggles or injuries,” White said following the Bok camp.

The Sharks will be looking to consolidate their five-point lead at the summit in what is the final game before a month-long international break.

“We're very excited to be back home and back in front of our home supporters,” White said.

“The nice thing is that after this week we get a break, so it's all to play for. You can't ask for much more than the fact that we're still top of the table.”

The Sharks team is: SP Marais, JP Pietersen, S'bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Lwazi Mvovo, Frans Steyn, Cobus Reinach, Willem Alberts, Tera Mtembu, Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Etienne Oosthuizen, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis (captain), Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod, Tim Swiel, Heimar Williams.

Sapa

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