Sithole enjoying 'dream season'
Durban - Sharks back S'bura Sithole says he's embracing every opportunity during his breakthrough year.
Sithole spoke to the MyPlayers website during his off-time on Tuesday, and reflected back on his 2014 season with a few laughs in between.
"If you told me at the beginning of the year that I'd get a Springbok call-up, I'd never believe you. This season has been a dream come true," he explained.
Sithole has made a notable individual impact in Super Rugby this season, which has seen him claim a starting spot at outside centre for the Sharks.
The 24-year-old admitted that it's been a challenging switch from his usual position of wing, but one that he's relishing. He added that Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White and backs coach Sean Everitt have been instrumental in his growth this year.
"There are many factors that have helped me make a successful change to outside centre," said Sithole.
"The coaches have given me their full confidence, which helps a lot. I've worked with Sean before at Under-21 and Vodacom Cup level, so it was nice to work with him in the senior squad.
"One major thing we really worked on was slick hands. At outside centre, I'm the link to the outside backs and I'm also closer to the ball, so that work at training was important.
"Jake has also established great structures at the Sharks, especially when it comes to fitness and conditioning. He also backed me always. Before matches, he'd tell me not to worry about mistakes and just to play my natural game. That support made things easier.
Sithole also credited the support of senior players JP Pietersen and Odwa Ndungane, who offered him advice whenever he needed it. Along with hooker Monde Hadebe and flank Tera Mtembu, these players spend a lot of time together on and off the field.
As Sithole improved at outside centre for the Sharks, he caught the attention of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who included the speedster in his squad for the June Tests against Wales and Scotland.
"That was an amazing experience. I got to train and run alongside the best South African players," said Sithole. "I learned a lot from the more senior guys, and it was interesting being coached by an entirely new management. Although I didn't get a chance to play, I gained a lot from my time with the Boks."
Sithole hopes to gets his Test opportunity in the near future.
"Right now, my focus is on giving my best to the Sharks and to help them get as far as possible in Super Rugby," said Sithole. "Whatever comes after that is a bonus. I'd love to get my opportunity to play for the Springboks. I hope to represent my country many times in the future."
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