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White has midfield masterplan

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:39
S_bura-sithole-sharks Jake-white-sharks-media Frans-steyn-sharks-points
We have an attacking backline
Quote-end

Jake White's masterplan with the No.10/No.12 axis is well documented, but it is at outside centre where the Sharks boss could pull the proverbial rabbit out the hat.

White, in an experiment against a second-string Lions team last week, moved wing S'bura Sithole to No.13 midway through the game - a move that was so successful he is considering making it a more permanent shift.

Sithole scored two tries to underline his value as a physical player and White has made it clear the powerful flyer is now an option in midfield.

"S'bura at No.13 was unbelievable," White beamed in an interview on the Sharks website - ahead of their opening match of the season, against the Bulls in Durban on Saturday.

"He was phenomenal actually.

"That bodes well for us, because we are probably a bit short in the centres, especially at outside centre.

"For him to have played the way he did and to put up his hand as he did, was obviously very pleasing.

"He's a case in point of a player taking his chance. He definitely made people sit up and watch."

While White had taken flyhalf Pat Lambie and inside centre Frans Steyn off before Sithole was moved to midfield, White said he is excited by the prospect of him playing alongside Steyn in midfield.

"Don't underestimate having Francois Steyn next to Patrick Lambie and the fact that anything that happens outside them is always going to be dangerous," the Sharks' Director of Rugby said.

"Having a No.10-No.12 combination like that adds value to everyone else outside them.

"And that's what was so pleasing about S'bura coming in and playing so well. He played without those two guys and I wonder what he'd be like if he played in combination with those two.

"We have an attacking backline and considering we don't have JP Pietersen back yet. When he does return there is more value there.

"The forwards are talented, it's about making sure we keep those backs fit and strong."

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