Cape Town - Sharks Director of Rugby Gary
Gold says he is very excited about the balance between experience and youth in
his Currie Cup squad.
Gold, who has also decided to take a
hands-on approach by coaching the team in this year’s Currie Cup, addressed
media at a press conference in Durban on Wednesday.
“I'm very excited about the team, about the
balance between the young players who are so enthusiastic and a couple of older
guys we have, Jean Deysel, Marco Wentzel,” said Gold.
“Philip van der Walt has joined us now and
he's looked particularly impressive. Michael Claassens has been very impressive,
likewise Joe Pietersen. (Backline coach) Sean Everitt must be licking his lips
with the backs that we have.
“We have such an exciting backline: with
Andre (Esterhuizen) who played so well, S'bura (Sithole) played very well, Odwa
(Ndungane) I thought was very good, to name a few.
“We have a really good balance this year
with a little bit of experience but a lot of youth. We also have the SA Under-20
players coming back in. It's exciting times at the moment.”
Their mobility up front is also something
that excites the Sharks mentor.
“If you take just one position, Etienne
Oosthuizen, who will go to second row, he's played back row in Super Rugby, you
have those kinds of mobile players in the second row which can only stand you
in good stead.
“Then there's Philip van der Walt, Jean-Luc
and Daniel du Preez, Khaya Majola and Jean Deysel to pick from in the back row
- we have quite a mobile team. I think it can lead to some exciting rugby.”
The coach says he is happy with the way
their (Currie Cup) pre-season is going.
“Our planning and preparation has been
pretty good and precise, there are a few new things we're looking to introduce
that I'm excited can make a big difference to our campaign and to the way we
manage this young squad. It's a real blooding-in period with a lot of
youngsters who will be given a chance.”
The Sharks start their Currie Cup campaign
away to the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday, August 7.