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Wilson – another important gap filled

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Jan 2015 at 10:36
Tagged with : , , , , ,

We didn’t dwell on it much, given the timing of the announcement, but I, for one, am really pleased that the Sharks have brought in a player like Jack Wilson to fill what was looming as a very uncomfortable gap in the Super Rugby line-up.

Not having seen much of the player specifically, I’m going to have to defer to the likes of Gary Gold and Brendan Venter, whose wisdom eclipses mine own in most rugby areas. He’s a winger of pedigree, though and at 25 is young enough to add value for a number of years (hopefully injury free) but also old enough to have paid his “school fees” and got over some of the more irritating follies of youth. In other words, he’s at that sort of age where he can hopefully just slot straight in without needing any further development.

The problem that the Sharks have at wing is simply that there have been – over the past few seasons – just too many top quality players who have shown loyalty to the franchise. The very thought that we would need additional depth in this area, with the likes of JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane on our books seemed ludicrous a few years back, but with Mvovo the only one of those three still in the “young-ish” category and an extra old campaigner in Tonderai Chavangha added to the mix, there is a dearth of up-and-coming options. S’bura Sithole, perhaps the logical successor, looks to be developing into more of a centre, another position in which depth is a thorny issue. Outside of the promising, but raw, Sizo Maseko, the only other wing options are the likes of Tyler Fisher (a centre), Jaco van Tonder (a fullback) and Alcino Izaacs (also a fullback and completely untried at senior level).

With options at fullback as thin as they are at 13, the chances of any potential fullback being retreated as a wing also look slim at this stage. Add to that the uncertainty around exactly when Pietersen will return – and what sort of shape he’ll be in when he does – and the cupboard out wide certainly would look a little bare without Wilson there.


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