Mallett questions Stevens' recruitment

    2015-03-09 10:34

    Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has questioned the Sharks’ recruitment of prop Matt Stevens from English club Saracens.

    Stevens, 32, started at tighthead prop for the Sharks in their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday night.

    He replaced Jannie du Plessis who was given off to be with his wife who gave birth to their second child.

    Stevens though had a torrid time in the scrums and struggled heavily against Steven Kitshoff as the Sharks conceded several tightheads.

    Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio after the Stormers’ 29-13 win, said:

    “You’ve got to question, perhaps question, the recruitment of Matt Stevens. He’s a guy at the very end of his career at Saracens.

    “Obviously there is a very strong Saracens connection with the Sharks. You’ve got (CEO) John Smit who played there, you’ve got (consultant) Brendan Venter who was Director of Rugby there, so they know him (Stevens) very well as a person and I’m not saying he’s not a great team man, but his job is to scrum.

    “His job is also to help poor old Jannie du Plessis have a bit of a break this season, but if every time he plays they’re going to give away three or four tightheads, then it wasn’t a very worthwhile recruitment.”

    Stevens played 39 Tests for England between 2004 and 2012.

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