Cape Town - The Sharks have issued a request to SANZAR to allow them to pick Springbok Frans Steyn should they make the Super Rugby playoffs, according to Beeld
SANZAR rules stipulate that only players registered before April 1 are allowed to play in the knockout phase of the competition. This means that Steyn, who only recently joined the Sharks from French club Racing Metro, is not eligible to play in the latter stages of the competition.
He played his first game against the Bulls last week, with his contract at the Sharks starting from July 1.
However, there is a slim chance that inside centre Steyn might be allowed to play should the Durbanites reach the playoffs, which start next weekend. There's a rule which states that a player who's not contracted could play in an extreme scenario - if there are so many injuries that no contracted player is fit to be utilised.
The Sharks are struggling at centre with Paul Jordaan and Marius Joubert still injured. Tim Whitehead and Meyer Bosman are available though. Whitehead partnered Steyn in midfield against the Bulls last week, with Bosman on the bench.
Sharks have tried their luck with the request even though it's highly unlikely that SANZAR will budge and allow Steyn to play. It would also cause somewhat of an uproar in Cape Town after SANZAR earlier this week denied a request from the Stormers to utilise Canadian loose forward Jebb Sinclair in the playoffs.
The Capetonians are set to play in the semi-finals without loose forwards Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Nick Koster and Nizaam Carr. This has forced coach Allister Coetzee to pick regular hooker Deon Fourie at No 8
for their clash this weekend against the Rebels. They had hoped for Sinclair to be made available for the knockout phases.
The Sharks are currently in sixth position on the overall log - the last playoff berth - and a good win over the Cheetahs in Durban on Saturday (17:05 kick-off) should see them stay in contention.Teams:Sharks:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Philip Snyman, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Andries Strauss