Currie Cup

Gold in dreamland at Sharks

2014-10-24 20:50
Gary Gold (Gallo Images)

Durban - New Director of Rugby Gary Gold said in Durban on Friday that leading the Sharks was beyond his wildest dreams.

The former Springbok assistant coach signed a three-year deal to replace 2007-winning World Cup coach Jake White, who quit last month.

Brendan Venter, who guided the club to the Currie Cup title last season, also re-joined the union as Technical Director.

"It would have been pretty wild dreams for me to have envisaged this, especially how things have gone over the past 12 months," Gold said.

"It's a massive honour and very humbling to be considered and I see it as a really exciting career opportunity."

However, the 47-year-old is likely to miss most of the pre-season due to his commitments in Japan where he is head coach of Top League club Kobelco Steelers.

"I have to go back to fulfil a contract obligation there, but the season's pretty much over.

"We have a few more games and then I'll come back and join the Shark after that. When I'll be back depends a lot on how well we (Kobelco Steelers) do."

He had mixed feelings as he was keen to join the Sharks by the end of January, he said, but that was only possible if the Steelers did not do well.

Assistant coaches Brad Macleod-Henderson, Sean Everitt and Paul Anthony would remain unchanged and Gold said he would sit down with them in the days ahead to map out a pre-season programme.

The new boss stopped short of making any predictions about the Sharks' chances in Super Rugby. They were among the favourites last season, only to lose out in the semi-finals.

"I'm not sure I'm going to be coming in on day one and making predictions about Super Rugby titles but I do think a huge amount of the squad," he said.

"From one to 15 there's some outstanding talent over here, some of whom I've been lucky to work with in the past."

Gold was keen to increase the Sharks' following by playing more attacking rugby.

"You're not going to win super rugby games 9-6 by scoring penalties, you have to score tries and I think that will be a massive focus from our point of view.

"We want to work really hard on our attack and our attack structures. It's why people come to watch rugby and why players want to play rugby."

Venter's return comes almost exactly a year after his departure following an initial three-month stint which ended with Currie Cup success.

Sharks chief executive officer John Smit revealed that Gold played a hand in the 44-year-old coming back to Durban. The two coaches first worked together back in 2000 at English club London Irish.

"When I spoke to Gary, without even mentioning it, he asked if there's a chance of getting Brendan involved," Smit said.

Although he has the title of technical director, Venter comes in, as he did during his first spell, without a contract and on what seems to be more of a consultancy basis.

Read more on:    sharks  |  super 15  |  currie cup  |  gary gold  |  durban  |  rugby

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