Sharks stars back in training

2012-01-10 19:24

Durban - The Sharks returned from a brief Christmas break last week and are now fully into their pre-season training regime ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby campaign.

According to Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest inter-provincial rugby tournament kicks off on Friday, February 24 - in just over six weeks’ time - with the Sharks travelling to Pretoria to take on the Bulls in their campaign-opener.

With roughly a month of pre-season training behind them, the Sharks will intensify their programme of preparation, having launched into a rigorous and focused period of readying themselves for the tournament.

With training starting well before most people are at work to try and finish field sessions before the heat has set in - pretty difficult given Durban’s temperatures at this time of the year - now is the time to bank all the hard effort.

Assessing where the squad is currently, coach John Plumtree explains that the position they find themselves at this stage of their preparations is no different to each year.

“It’s the same as every pre-season,” he says. “You get your players in different aspects of training and those who are in rehab; we have Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel that are under pressure to be fit for the start of the season, but they’re on track. The players have all had their programmes over Christmas and have worked pretty hard, so I’m happy with that.”

Aside from the blockbusting duo of Alberts and Deysel, Conrad Hoffmann has injured a pec muscle in the gym and Plumtree has confirmed that he could be out for four weeks. “But hopefully, he will be okay by the start of the season.”

Assessing squad depth, the Sharks coach is confident that the team is where it needs to be. “If you look at our forwards, there is a lot of experience there now and some of these guys have been playing Super Rugby for five or six years. In the backs, there is a mixture of experience and youth.

“We’ll see an introduction of young players as well during the campaign which is positive going forward. I think we’re in good shape but it’s a long competition isn’t it? If you lose two or three guys to injury, especially if it’s in the same position, then suddenly you can come under pressure. But the under-21s did well last year and our Vodacom Cup side is full of promising youngsters as well so we’ll also able to draw from them.”

The Sharks will remain in Durban for their preparations this year, opting not to go on camp, allowing them to focus on training without any interruptions associated with travel. In gauging where the Sharks are compared to previous years, Plumtree explains that it’s tough to actually decide.

“Pre-season preparation evolves and each year is different to the previous one. You lose players, you bring players in, so it’s hard to judge where we are compared to years gone by. The proof will be in the pudding and that’s how we play on the field.

“I don’t get too excited about pre-season. I’ll wait for our trial and see how we are looking then.”


  • Ron - 2012-01-10 20:33

    Go Sharkies

  • Blou-Daan - 2012-01-11 06:18

    The Bulls will wait for them at Loftus on February 24.

      Danny - 2012-01-11 10:18

      Ja, dan kan ons hulle sommer ore aansit voor die seisoen lekker warm word LoL

  • Paul - 2012-01-11 07:34

    @Blou-Daan yeah you right about the bulls waiting. Waiting for a hiding

  • malcolm.molver - 2012-01-11 07:36

    Super Rugby just can't come quickly enough! Looking forward to seeing my Sharks in action! SHARKS FOREVER!

  • Paul - 2012-01-11 07:38

    Sharks Rule and thats no Bull. On 24 February its gonna be the Sharks's 3rd consecutive wins against the Bulls.

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-11 07:47

      @Paul. That was just about the same thing the Sharks supporters shouted before the Lions game (CC final). Sorry Sharks, Bulls & Lions will dominate in SA this year. Will be a difficult year for Sharks and Stormrs.

      Lionel - 2012-01-11 07:51

      Daan,I beg to differ,Bulls are gonna battle without the likes of Victor,Bakkies and Danie Rossouw!!! Sharks and Lions will be up there!!! My beloved Stormers,I sincerely hope I'm wrong but with all the things going on here I think we gonna sukkel so bietjie!!!!!

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-11 08:14

      @Lionel I can understand what you mean about the loss of Vic, Bakkies & Danie. That is a consern but I have trust in the team to overcome that. In general I am happy with het new talent that came in. I will support the Bulls annyway :-) Eish, things dont look to good with the Stormers but they just might surprice us all :-)

      Danny - 2012-01-11 10:20

      Ou blou tranie, CC is heel iets anders as Super Rugby.

      Stefan - 2012-01-11 13:33

      @Blou-Daan. I would love to know how you got to your views. "That was just about the same thing the Sharks supporters shouted before the Lions game (CC final)."... Oh yeah, that same final where the Bulls didn't even feature??? Hey, but at least they reached the semi's... Oh right they didn't feature there either. So hopefully their season will be as successful as in the Super Rugby last year... Darn, they weren't successful there either!!! "Will be a difficult year for Sharks and Stormrs."... The only two teams who are actually going to do our country proud.

  • Andre - 2012-01-11 08:06

    Stars???? The same ones that got a hifding in the CC final hahahahaha

      Julie - 2012-01-11 09:59

      Nitronic, yes, the sharks did lose the CC, but I was satisfied to see the erstwhile "losers," the Lions, instead of the Bulls or WP getting the trophy - give credit where credit is due - the Lions have really improved their game and I reluctantly agree they deserved to win at the end of the season. However, a new season is beginning and let's see what the Sharks can come up with...

  • Fred - 2012-01-11 08:53

    Boys I hope the entire South African teams do well from number 1-5 is only South African sights that will be good for SA Rugby and for the Bakke

  • Brett - 2012-01-11 09:37

    Sharks need to get france Stayne back, what ever he costs. My flippen season tickets are expensive enough they can use half that money...

  • Julie - 2012-01-11 09:54

    Although no longer residing in Durban (lived there for 45 years), the Sharks are still MY team and I support them wholeheartedly. GO, SHARKS!!!

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