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The real value Etzebeth will bring to the Sharks

REACTION: The Sharks already has a proverbial gold mine of international IP and the arrival of Eben Etzebeth will add even more to the growth of young players.


The Sharks revealed last week that the 30-year-old will arrive in Durban when he departs Toulon at the end of the current European season.

Apart from adding to their already impressive second row stocks, Etzebeth will also be a mentor for the young locks in Durban.

“He is a World Cup-winning Springbok and has played senior rugby for more than a decade,” Sharks coach Etienne Fynn said in reaction to last week’s news of Etzebeth’s imminent arrival.

“They can all learn from him – become better individuals and players,” he said of the young players in the Sharks set-up.

“It is a massive opportunity for the young locks and we [the Sharks] are looking forward to learning a growing.”

Captain James Venter described it as a “great addition” to the squad.


“We already have six or seven World Cup winners in our squad,” the loose forward said, adding: “What they bring to the squad is massive.”

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Both said the Springboks bring a massive amount of “detail and focus” to training, with further assists the growth of the young players.

“Young players learn just by listening and following the senior players,” Fynn said.

“It is a great opportunity for young players to learn from players like that.”



* Meanwhile the Sharks surged to the top of the Currie Cup standings in impressive fashion at the weekend.

In an exciting outing on the Highveld, the Sharks withstood a brave second-half fightback from the Lions to surge to the top of the standings courtesy of a 45-31 triumph.

Fynn said they will need to ‘address’ the general discipline – given that the team conceded three yellow cards for avoidable offences.

Yellow cards for Cameron Wright (dangerous tackle), Bradley Davids (cynical foul play) and Olajuwon Noa (high tackle) mean the Sharks spent a substantial portion of the match a man down.

At one stage the Sharks were down to 13 men, with two players in the sin bin, both for high tackles.

The still remain unbeaten in the competition and will take a lot of confidence out of their third win on the trot.

Despite the obvious issues, Fynn was pleased with some of the “constructive” and “attractive” rugby his team produced at Ellis Park.

He backed the players and their decisions, saying they react to what happens on the field.

“You have a view as a coach or an outside observer, but the players get a more tangible feel on the field.

“It is up to them to continue to probe what they feel are weaknesses in the opposition.”

He added that they won’t stray away from what works and will aim to better at it.

Venter attributed the win to the ability to stay true to the structures and gam plan.

“We know what we are good at, so we need to keep backing the players in the squad,” he said.


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