Jake: Sharks will win S15
Durban - Sharks Director of Rugby, Jake White
, has outlined his plans for the Sharks ahead of next year’s Super Rugby competition, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick
“I have told them they are going to win Super Rugby,” he admitted in a clear message of what he wants to accomplish at the Sharks. He did qualify this by saying that without a dream, they could never achieve greatness.
“If they don’t believe it then it is not going to happen.”
He also pointed out that while he took over a Springbok side that hadn’t featured in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and made them champions in 2007, and then took a young, inexperienced Brumbies side to the final this year, the Sharks are a team that was successful in the Currie Cup this year and has the makings of a winning team.
“The realistic thing is though, I may have taken over a great franchise, but they came eighth in the Super Rugby tournament this year and came fourth out of five South African franchises.”
White’s goal is to turn potential into purposeful ambition and the only way they will achieve that is through hard work.
“All it is, is head-down-bum-up, hard work. That was the motto we had at the Brumbies and that is all any loyal supporter wants to see. If we work hard, put the hours in, prepare, and do whatever we can to the best we can, then the success will come.
“That is all I’ve said to these boys: let’s just make sure that we work harder than everyone else.”
And if the players are expected to work hard, the coaching staff will lead by example too. They’re all in this together, according to White.
“I must say this first week has been hectic,” he explained. “I get here early at 7 in the morning and leave at 6 at night. That’s just because there such a lot of stuff to do. I probably haven’t settled like I’d like to yet, but when you start in a new environment you’ve got to make sure everything is in place. But I’m just really chuffed to be here, it’s great to be back in South Africa, and I’m excited to be at the Sharks and what is possible here.”
The Sharks players not on Springbok duty returned on Monday for the Super Rugby pre-season following a three week break after the Currie Cup under the guidance of the coaching structure, outlined by White.
“Paul Anthony is the forwards coach, Brad Macleod-Henderson will be the technical analyst who will also work with players on individual skills and breakdown work, looking after those specialised areas. Sean Everitt will take the backs and I’ll head up the defence, but I’ll have consultants that will work with us on all areas of our game.
“I will try get a couple of guys that I respect as coaches to come in and up-skill some of our coaches in some of the areas that I think we need to be up-skilled in, whether we get a kicking, a lineout or scrum guy. It just helps in terms of the personal development of the coaches we have here.”
And do the Sharks have the team to accomplish their goal? He certainly believes so.
“I’m very happy with the squad. Everyone in the world would like to have stronger squads, but, in saying that, the talent here is phenomenal and I can compare apples with apples. Comparing a side like the Brumbies who came second this year, to a franchise like the Sharks; there is unbelievable talent here. From 19 year olds right up to Springboks.”