As Sharks coaches John Plumtree and Grant Bashford returned from an “enlightening” week with UK Premiership club Saracens, the squad threw themselves back into gym training as they began their pre-season preparation.
Craig Lewis writes in the Daily News that the team will work on “conditioning” over the next two weeks as they begin building towards the Super 14 which gets underway in February.
However, it’s already been a busy few days for Plumtree and Bashford who arrived in London last week Monday in order to link up with Saracens and gain some valuable insight into their methods of training and preparation.
After returning on Monday morning, Bashford explained what an important trip it had been.
“It was really good to see how Saracens train and prepare as well as to see how they manage their players considering the tough conditions they play in. Spending time with Eddie Jones (Saracens’ director of rugby), there was also obviously heaps of knowledge that we were able to tap into. It was very interesting to compare how they do things in relation to us and it was good to see that besides the fact they play in a very different climate and conditions, they weren’t doing a whole lot differently.”
The Sharks’ coaching duo also spent some time with Dave Aldred, who is best known for his work as England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson’s kicking coach and who was also part of England’s coaching staff during their 2003 World Cup success.
“It was really helpful to chat to Dave and learn a few new techniques as well as some skills and drills,” Bashford said.
“It was just good to link up with a few people, to reinforce what we’ve been doing and to learn a few new things to add to the environment here.”
Commenting on the Springboks’ end-of-year tour, Bashford said he was really impressed with the way all the Sharks players performed. “From my perspective, the Sharks players were really impressive and they all came through the tour with flying colours, which certainly stands us in good stead for next year. For those players to have won the Currie Cup and then to have finished the tour on a high just means they will be coming back in a good mind frame and that’s vital.”
The Sharks kick-off their Super 14 campaign with a match against the Stormers at Newlands on February 14.Tweet