Playing in Japan helped my game - Sharks centre

    2018-05-09 11:30

    Cape Town - Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen feels his impressive performances in Super Rugby can be attributed to a stint in Japan.

    The 24-year-old has been a revelation for the Sharks in 2018, proving a menace for opposition defences with not only his barnstorming runs, but also his off-loading skills.

    He was named man-of-the-match in last Saturday's 38-12 annihilation of the Highlanders at Kings Park.

    Esterhuizen said he gained confidence while playing for the Sanix Blues club in Japan in 2017.

    “The game was a lot faster over there, we ran out of our 22 and from everywhere. You had the freedom to play more rugby with less kicking and that helped me quite a bit,” was quoted as saying by Netwerk24.

    Esterhuizen added that he learnt a lot from former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer, who is one of the coaches at the Sanix Blues.

    “I worked on a lot of extras because we had time on our hands (due to the rest breaks afforded to overseas players). So I worked closely with the coaches there such as Carlos Spencer, which really helped with things like my kicking and passing.”

    “I think that is where I gained some confidence. There, you don’t have to worry too much if you make an error because it’s not really like in Super Rugby, where one mistake can cost you a try. So I think I just got the confidence to play my game and try different things, which I then felt more comfortable doing when I came back to the Sharks.”

    The Sharks take on the Bulls in Pretoria this Saturday (17:15 kick-off), with both teams to be announced on Thursday.

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