Warren Whiteley's new role at Sharks revealed
NEWS: It is the worst-kept secret. Former Springbok captain Warren Whiteley is returning to Durban.
Apart from the emotional farewell message he delivered to Lions supporters on social media at the weekend, his new role at the Sharks was revealed on Sunday.
“A proud son of KwaZulu-Natal returns,” the Sharks said in a statement on the social media pages.
“We are excited to welcome former Springbok captain Warren Whiteley to the Sharks coaching team – as line-out coach.
“His experience and positive influence on the young players in our squad will be immense.
“We look forward to him joining our coaching team.”
Whiteley, 33, moved into coaching at the Lions after failing to recover from a succession of knee injuries.
After playing 13 times for the Sharks in 2008 and 2009, he had a brief stint with the Mighty Elephants in Port Elizabeth – before moving to the Lions in 2010.
He represented them in more than 150 games, in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup – taking them to three Super Rugby finals.
He played 23 Tests for the Springboks – his debut against Australia in Perth in 2014 and his last caps against France in Paris in 2018.
He was named Bok captain by Allister Coetzee in 2017, but the arrival of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber saw Siyamthanda Kolisi take over the team leadership.
By 2019 Whiteley’s chronic knee problems kept him from returning to the playing field and despite surgery he eventually took to coaching.
A proud son of KZN returns!! We are excited to welcome former Springbok captain, Warren Whiteley, to #OurSharks coaching team as line-out coach. His experience & positive influence to the young players in our squad will be immense. We look forward to him joining our coaching team. pic.twitter.com/OOBDFIkSIu
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) August 29, 2021
* Meanwhile an obviously disappointed Sharks coach Sean Everitt said his team’s performance in their 24-35 loss to Western Province simply “wasn’t up to standards”.
The bonus-point win a fired-up WP outfit saw the Cape Town outfit sneak into the Currie Cup semifinals.
The draw between Griquas and the Pumas earlier in the day meant the Capetonians had a mountain to climb, having to secure a full-house five points or win by at least 24 points to snatch the fourth qualifying spot from the Lowvelders.
They scored three second-half tries to upset the vaunted hosts in spectacular fashion, after the home side were up 17-14 at the break.
“We wanted to build momentum going into the semifinal, but it did not happen,” Everitt said.
“We played against a desperate team and we will take it on the chin. They outplayed us.”
He said losing in Durban at the weekend was perhaps the best time to lose, as they get a chance to rectify it in the play-offs from next week.
“The aerial battle is a concern for me,” the coach said – looking ahead to the semifinal showdown with Griquas at Kings Park next week.
“We also need to work on our restarts. You can’t build scoreboard pressure if you concede possession and territory after scoring.”
He said Griquas, who have done well to reach the semifinals and have been consistent throughout this season, will present a “big challenge”- having knocked over big guns like the Sharks (Durban), the Lions (in Johannesburg) and Western Province (Cape Town and Kimberley).
“If we stick to the plan and play to our potential, we should be in the Final,” the coach added.