Sharks lock Steven Sykes is expecting a big 2009 season after an inspirational domestic campaign this year.
His first taste of Sharks rugby was with the Academy six years ago and he has since worked his way up the Sharks’ lock pecking order – an area which boasts considerable talent and experience.
Under the watchful eyes of Sharks veteran locks Johan Ackermann, Johann Muller and Albert van den Berg, 24-year-old Sykes has really come into his own over the last couple of years, establishing himself as a vital component in the second row.
Sykes believes competing with the experienced campaigners has benefited his rugby and he can’t wait for the Super 14 to get going.
“I really enjoy the rugby [Super14], it’s tough and physical and the kind of game that I really enjoy,” Sykes told Independent Online.
“I didn’t play a lot of Super 14 last year with Johan Ackermann in the team but I have managed to get more game time over the last year.
“There are lots of things I have learnt from him [Ackermann], Johann Muller and Albert van den Berg.”
Sykes believes the Sharks’ Currie Cup triumph this year has inspired the team to achieve in 2009 and he’s already set his sights on getting regular game-time in 2009.
He continued: “Winning the Currie Cup was a really big moment for us all and I know that some guys have been playing here for many years and it was the first time they have won a trophy as well, so it was incredibly special for them, the coaches and all the supporters
“My main goal is just to get as much game-time as possible in the Super 14. Another goal is to one day go on to win the Super 14 with the Sharks.
“Playing internationally is also still one of my biggest goals, but I can’t rush it. It’s something I can’t control and it’s just a waiting game that I’ve got to play.”Tweet