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Sharks revolutionise SA rugby

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:18
John-smit-h_s Brendan-venter-in-stands Bradmacleod-henderson1 Seaneveritt
No head coach
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The Sharks are changing the way rugby in South Africa has traditionally been approached from a coaching and technical perspective.

New CEO John Smit promised some innovative changes ahead of the upcoming Currie Cup season and the former World Cup-winning Springbok captain has seemingly delivered as the Durban side on Wednesday announced their new management team and underlined their respective roles.

Most notably is the lack of a head coach position, previously held by John Plumtree. In addition to the appointment of Brendan Venter as Director of Rugby, Brad Macleod-Henderson has been appointed forwards coach and Sean Everitt backline coach, with Bulls Under-19 coach Paul Anthony set to join the all-new Sharks coaching set-up at the end of 2013 for next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

It is understood that although some changes will be implemented, a complete overhaul in tactics and preparation is not what the new management team envision.

Hilton College confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that former Sharks loose forward Macleod-Henderson’s suspected deal with the Union had been finalised, however, it was widely believed that he would step into the head coach role.

“It’s a great opportunity, a great honour and something I’m really looking forward to,” Macleod-Henderson said on his appointment as forward coach.

Touching on the changes and the way forward, he said: “The game is always evolving, always changing, so it’s important to stay abreast of developments in the game. It’s also important to look at your personnel and get the best out of your players which is an eclectic mix of what you have and how you see the game going.

“We get going next week with the players, we will maintain things that have worked well, look to simplify things a bit and make sure that everyone understands 100 percent what their roles and responsibilities are and create an environment where the players are happy and can play their best rugby.”

Everitt has long been a member of the extended Sharks family, having coached at Under-19, Under-21 and Vodacom Cup level and was brought into the mix during the Sharks’ title-winning 2008 Currie Cup campaign.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for me, it’s going to be challenging, but that’s what coaching is all about. Obviously it’s everyone’s ambition to get to the top and being involved with the Sharks now is a realisation of that goal. I’m looking forward to working with some of the guys I worked with in the past,” said the new backline coach.

“The Currie Cup has a lot of tradition and there is a plenty of pride at stake when teams play in this competition. There is a lot for the Sharks to gain in winning the Currie Cup. I was lucky to be involved in 2008 when the Sharks beat the Bulls in the Final and I saw the effect it had on the city, so we’re under no illusions as to how important it is.

“The squad we have at our disposal is going to be good, it’s certainly strong enough to compete for a Final berth at the end of the campaign. It’s a good mixture of youth - which obviously brings a lot of excitement - and experience,” he added.

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