Durban - Sharks and Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee says Brendan Venter has given the players free reign to express themselves.
The Sharks were criticised for employing a negative game style under Jake White last year, but things are expected to change in 2015.
Gary Gold will join the team as Director of Rugby early next month, while Venter will be used as a coaching consultant on a regular basis throughout the season.
Venter is currently at the helm before Gold arrives from Japan.
Coetzee recently returned to the Sharks following honeymoon and said it’s great to be back training.
“All the guys are in great shape, everyone is motivated and Brendan Venter brings a lot of energy to the training pitch,” Coetzee told the Sharks’ official website.
“Despite the heat and hard work, it’s actually been enjoyable. That’s the environment created by Brendan: we are all motivated, we get here at 7am and we work hard.
“The most important thing is match fitness and what we’re doing now is training at full pace and high intensity and that will get the match fitness to a level we want.
“We are enjoying it out there. We’ve been given permission to play what’s in front of us by Brendan, he wants us to express ourselves and show what we’re capable of. It means we’re bringing new options to our game plan and this requires our fitness levels to match our ball skills to enable us to play this way.”
Coetzee also said the team’s depth would prove helpful in 2015.
“Our depth is really good this year. Amongst the loosies, there are some great players. Renaldo Bothma has joined us and with Khaya Majola and Francois Kleinhans who have been in the system for a few years, along with the rest of the loose forwards, we’re looking very good. That’s the most important part of having a quality squad in Super Rugby because of the rotation policy here. It gives our body the opportunity to rest and recover.”
The Sharks will play a pre-season game against a team made up of various Durban clubs, while also travelling to France to tackle Toulon on February 5.
The Sharks start their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Cheetahs on February 14.