We are desperate to play – Sharks boss
FOUR weeks on Friday the Currie Cup is due to commence, but with no green light yet from the government, rugby administrators are getting nervous.
The first weekend in September is just round the corner but as of yesterday the country’s unions had not received an indication that the competition will, in fact, start as scheduled.
Sharks chief executive Eduard Coetzee says he is awaiting news from SA Rugby, and if they are not conveying anything to the unions it is because they, in turn, are waiting on government direction.
“There are a lot of stakeholders needing to know what is going on,” Coetzee said.
“We would love to be sending out fixtures lists, for example, asap. Meanwhile, all we can do as prepare as best we can.”
If the return-to-play date is pushed too much later into September, it could have a knock-on effect on Springbok coach Jacquie Nieanaber’s stipulation that the Boks cannot go to New Zealand for the Rugby Championship unless they have at least six Currie Cup games under their belts.
“We are just desperate to play,” Coetzee said.
“The young talent that we have is going to surprise a lot of people.”
While the Sharks did little recruiting during lockdown, they did let go a handful of senior players so that opportunities could be created for exciting youngsters.
The position of scrumhalf is a good case in point, where the Sharks released Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright, which opens the door for an exceptional talent in 20-year-old Jaden Hendrikse, who last year was nominated as one of four players for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship ‘Breakthrough Player of the Tournament’ award after a brilliant in the international showpiece in Rosario.
And this is bearing in mind that Hendrikse would be still be behind Sanele Nohamba, one of the bright lights for the Sharks in Super Rugby earlier this year. The Sharks’ “third” scrumhalf is the exciting Grant Williams, the Paarl Gimnasium product.