Sharks call on Braam for help
Cape Town - New Sharks coach Robert du Preez says he is relying on all the help he can get as he looks to transform the Durbanites into a winning franchise.
To do that, Du Preez is looking to embed a new philosophy.
As is the case with most of the country's Super Rugby franchises, skills development and training are key to the way the Sharks want to play their rugby in 2017.
It won't happen overnight, Du Preez says, and it will only happen through hard work and the right personnel.
As a result, the Sharks have wasted no time in getting going and their pre-season training will run from now until December 15 before breaking until the first week of January.
Du Preez addressed media in Durban on Tuesday for the first time as Super Rugby coach, and he revealed that the Sharks have hired two specialist coaching guns in the form of AB Zondagh and former Springbok flyhalf Braam van Straaten.
"We've got a specialist skills guy, AB Zondagh, who is going to be looking after the skills at the union," Du Preez explained.
"We've also got Braam van Straaten to help with the kicking.
"My plan is to call on those specialist coaches; I think that's the way forward. I'm very open to people who can help us in any way."
Van Straaten, who last played for the Boks in 2001, was previously the kicking coach for the Australian national side while Zondagh has been working in the Sharks youth and development structures for a number of years.
"I've always said that we have to make improvements all the time. This won't happen overnight.
"The way we want to play, the fact that we want to win trophies and play in finals ... it won't happen overnight.
"I'm very confident that we will make that step up and make those improvements. It's a big task ahead but we're certainly up for it."
Du Preez added that the Sharks resigning the players they wanted to keep was a major step in the right direction.
He would not make any predictions or promises, but he had a good feeling about the direction the side was moving in.
"I'm quietly confident. I'm not going to make any predictions. But if we can keep this team together for the next two or three seasons I think you can expect to see good things," Du Preez said.