Sharks coach John Plumtree is taking the positive step of blooding highly successful College Rovers coach Sean Everitt in the Currie Cup.
Everitt is the Sharks’ new skills coach and he is filling the boots of another former Durban club coach, Grant Bashford, who Plumtree has promoted to the position of assistant coach, according to Mike Greenaway, writing for IOL.
Everitt, who played centre for Natal B and for the Duikers, has been at the head of a Rovers side that has dominated club rugby in recent years.
“I believe strongly in bringing through local talent,” Plumtree said on Monday from the strange position of a physio’s bed alongside the Sharks’ training field.
Plumtree underwent an operation on a damaged disc in his lower back last week – an old rugby injury that recently flared up and left him in agony.
“Shaun has done his time in the club ranks, and deserves an opportunity at a higher level. It is vital for the local game that there is succession planning,” Plumtree said.
However, Plumtree will be looking for an experienced coach to assist him and Bashford in next year’s Super 14, and says he is likely to look overseas.
The Sharks began training for the Currie Cup on Monday, and Plumtree has put together a squad of 36 players comprising the balance of the Super 14 squad that is not with the Springboks, plus youngsters from the Sharks’ high-performance unit. The youngsters are basically club players that have been identified as possible future professionals, and they are being trained by the Sharks’ fitness coaches Mark Steele and Kevin Stevenson.
Plumtree said that there were unlikely to be new signings for the Currie Cup, apart from Frederic Michalak who will rejoin the Sharks from France in late July.
The Sharks are known to be talking to Springbok captain John Smit about a possible return to Durban, but because of Smit’s Tri-Nations commitments that will not impact on the Currie Cup and will rather be relevant for the 2009 Super 14.
Until the arrival of Michalak, Plumtree said he would consider playing Bradley Barritt at 10, or possibly Rovers flyhalf Andrew Borgen.
The Sharks travel to Welkom on Friday for a friendly against the Purple People Eaters as a warm-up for their opening match on June 20, against Western Province at the Absa Stadium.Tweet