Cape Town - Sharks director of rugby Jake White
has welcomed the return of No 8 Ryan Kankowski
to their Super Rugby squad.
Kankowski, 28, returned to Sharks training this week after ending his stint in Japan.
In recent years he only returned from Japan in latter rounds, but is now back in Durban and eager to impress White.
He had a fallout with former Sharks coach John Plumtree in 2013, with the latter dropping him for perceived lack of form and fitness after returning from Japan.
But White is adamant that the man who became a Springbok when he was head coach will find his old form again.
White told Wednesday's Mercury
newspaper that Kankowski has something special about him and adds some much needed X-factor.
White also said Kankowski is very important to the way the Sharks want to play this year and added that his pace is a vital attribute.
The Sharks tackle the Lions in a pre-season game in Johannesburg on Friday (19:00 kick-off), before starting their season-proper at home to the Bulls on February 15.