DURBAN – The Sharks’ newest recruit, Siya Kolisi, is not going to characteristic within the collection of “preparation” matches organised by SA Rugby forward of April’s Rainbow Cup, and a quantity of different star gamers will characteristic solely from time to time.
Sharks chief government Eduard Coetzee has mentioned that the Sharks view these preparation video games — every of the eight groups will play 4 matches — as precisely that: preparation for the April 17 kick-off of the Rainbow Cup, which is able to characteristic the 4 former SA Super Rugby groups plus the European groups presently busy with the PRO14.
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With the mud on the January 23 Currie Cup closing solely simply settled, Coetzee mentioned that the Sharks can be utilizing the final week of February and the month of March as a “mini pre-season,” after the gamers got a break from January 24 till yesterday, after they regathered.
The Sharks host Griquas on Sunday; the Bulls are additionally in motion on Sunday at Loftus in opposition to Eastern Province Elephants in an earlier recreation, whereas the collection kicks off on Friday (Lions vs Pumas) and Saturday sees the Cheetahs visiting the Stormers.
There is not any trophy or log factors at stake for this collection of matches, so we are able to anticipate all of the groups to make use of them as a kind of pre-season trials.
Coetzee says Kolisi will spend the following six weeks on a conditioning programme.
The Springbok captain for numerous damage and Covid-19 associated causes barely performed in 2020 and, by his personal request, needs to get caught right into a rigorous fitness regime to get him into peak situation earlier than he performs once more.
Coetzee mentioned that the Sharks would use the matches to develop depth, check combos, relaxation sure gamers that have been overplayed, and trial kids.
The chief government has additionally confirmed that wing Madosh Tambwe has been launched to hitch the Bulls — the Congo-born former Lions star struggled to get recreation time behind Yaw Penxe — whereas the latter participant has signed a contract with the Sharks.
Penxe joined the Sharks on mortgage from the now-defunct Kings and made an impression as a powerful working, hard-tackling wing who was additionally fearless within the air. Interestingly, the groups will play on a ten-day cycle (reasonably than every week) to handle Covid-19 testing protocols.
This solves a significant frustration of the not too long ago accomplished Currie Cup the place coaches solely knew which gamers have been obtainable when Covid-19 outcomes got here in on the Wednesday earlier than a match
The eight groups – the Elephants be a part of the seven sides that competed within the Currie Cup– have been break up into two teams and can play cross-pool matches, making certain 4 encounters for each group.
Pool A will consist of the Bulls, Lions, Griquas and Cheetahs, and they’re going to play the 4 sides in Pool B, particularly the Sharks, Stormers, Pumas and Elephants.