Already having had a fantastic 2009, lock Steven Sykes is looking to end the year by helping the Sharks to back-to-back Currie Cup titles and being a part of the Springbok tour squad.. He chats to Peter Murison of www.rugby365.com.
This interview opportunity was made possible by World Artists.
With just one week left in the League stage of the Currie Cup, the defending Champions find themselves second on the log. Level on points with Western Province but well behind on points difference, the men from KwaZulu Natal will desperately be looking for a five point-haul this weekend in order to keep the pressure on Luke Watson’s men.
Standing in their way though is a determined Griquas side. Dawie Theron’s troops are currently in fourth place on the log but need at least two points from this weekend’s clash in Kimberley to stay ahead of the Cheetahs and put themselves into a semifinal next weekend.
All of which makes this weekend’s match a very exciting prospect.
“You can never take any match down in Kimberley lightly. It’s always tough but we’ll definitely be up to the challenge this weekend,” said Sykes to rugby365.
“We’ve still got top of the table on our minds and getting five points this week [is the goal]. By the time we get off the plane back in Durban we will definitely know what happened between Western Province and the Lions and who came top of the log.”
Successfully blooding youngsters early in the season, the Sharks, according to Sykes, are now benefiting from having the Springboks back in the fold as well.
CHECK OUT STEVEN SYKES PROFILE
While they may have laboured to a win over the Lions last weekend, the spirits remain high in the Sharks camp.
“We’ve got a great vibe in the camp at the moment.
“The season as a whole has been great, there have been a lot of youngsters which we have used while our Springboks have been away so I think we’ve done well with them – giving them game time has been great.”
Personally, 2009 has been a big year for Sykes. Having just missed out on a Springbok cap earlier in the year, the Sharks Academy product has established himself as a key part of John Plumtree’s squad.
“It’s just nice getting the opportunity and getting game time so you can express yourself. If somebody trusts in you, like the coaches at the Sharks, if they believe in me, it makes it so much easier for you to play good rugby. Your teammates are behind you all the way as well.”
A late call-up to the squad, Sykes was named on the bench for South Africa for their final test against the British and Irish Lions but did not get any time of the pitch as the Springboks went down 28-9.
Even before that though, the lock had enjoyed appearances for both the Springbok XV and the Emerging side.
“It was actually a great surprise for me after the Super 14 when they said I was in the Springbok XV which played against Namibia and when I got selected for the Emerging Springboks that was a privilege.
“Definitely one of the biggest highlight [of my career] was when they called me and told me I was on the bench for the third test against the British and Irish Lions. Unfortunately I didn’t go on but hopefully my time will come soon.”
With the big clash in Kimberley the first item on his agenda, Sykes makes no secret about his desire to once again be a part of the Springbok squad.
“At the moment I am just looking at winning the Currie Cup again with the Sharks and then to go on the end of year tour with the Springboks.
“Just to play international rugby is one of my main goals I would like to achieve – whether it is now or next year, I’ll just keep working until my time will come.”Tweet