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Gold – time for fringe players to shine

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 21 Jul 2015 at 09:55
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

I had a great chat with Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold on Thursday last week. Here are some further comments from that interview.

I asked Gary about the squad and particularly about the new props training with the side. “We’ve got some worries about depth there, obviously losing Jannie and Beast to the Springboks and Matt moving on,” he admits. “Also at hooker with Bissie going to the Boks and Kyle battling a little with his knee. I am worried about the front row – whether there’s enough strength in depth there and that’s why we’ve got a few front rankers in on trial. I can tell you that Juan Schoeman has been really impressive, but I’ve not yet really seen enough of the other guys [Denford Mutamangira and Gerhardus Engelbrecht]. Those two did play in a club game against each other last Friday night, though and they both played well.

“We’ve had a couple of club guys come down as well and we’re really trying to encourage those players. One of the interesting things, I find, is that despite the disappointment of losing some big names, that really offers an opportunity for younger players to show their stuff – we get a huge amount of enthusiasm. It’s a breath of fresh air to watch a young, keen team take the field. Often with these club guys, what they lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm and there’s definitely no shortage of motivation for those guys. When you give those guys a chance, they repay you in leaps and bounds. That’s something I want to continue to encourage at the Sharks – that enthusiasm, that drive, that real desire to play for each other.

“Just look at a guy like Khaya Majola – he’d been waiting in the wings for a long time, then had to start when we had a lot of injuries and paid us back with a man of the match performance. The same applies to guys like Franco Marais, Monde Hadebe – even Kyle Cooper who’s been waiting around for a long time – this is their time to shine. I’m very positive that they’re going to produce for us.”

Looking specifically at openside flank, Gold is particularly enthused about his options: “We’ve got Francois Kleinhans and Khaya and Jean Deysel, who is an openside for me, a modern day openside. So I think we’ve got three quality options in that position and when Marcell gets back, we’ll have a fourth – that’s one position I’m not worried about.”

Gold confirmed that he’ll be looking to the du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel, to cover the other back row positions, along with new signing Philip van der Walt.


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