Sharks are 'very healthy'
Sharks are 'very healthy'SHARE
New Sharks Director of Rugby Brendan Venter feels the Sharks are "very healthy", despite the lack of silverware in the last few years.
Venter, who was appointed as Sharks mentor after coach John Plumtree was shown the exit door before the end of the Super Rugby season, has formally taken up his new dual role at the Sharks and Saracens.
World Cup-winning former Springbok captain John Smit, in one of his first tasks as the new Sharks CEO, bought Venter into the newly created role as Director of Rugby – a dual role that will see him continue as Technical Director at Saracens.
Venter joined up with the Sharks this month said he was "very impressed" with the set up in Durban.
"I've obviously worked extensively with a lot of good players before and the Sharks have got a really good squad," Venter told a media briefing in Durban.
"Their junior structures here are very healthy," he told reporters in Durban.
The Sharks announced a 43-man squad for the Currie Cup, which they kick-off against Griquas at Kings Park on Friday.
Venter said he was hoping to instil a solid playing structure from the junior levels at the union to the top.
"The Currie Cup has to be seen as the place where players get their opportunity," he said.
"We need to be making sure this happens and one of the things we'll be working on is – we're meeting with the Under-19 and Under-21 coaches later – is to get the same culture that the main team has got running right through the organisation.
"We'd like them to be playing in a similar style, something all the successful teams do."
Venter heads a new coaching system with Sean Everitt and Brad Macleod-Henderson as backs and forwards coaches respectively.
Macleod-Henderson said the aim this year was to win the Currie Cup – with the Sharks' last success in this competition back in 2010.
"In the process of doing that, some youngsters will be blooded," Macleod-Henderson said.
"The Springboks are away so that does create a few more opportunities.
"Injuries are also bound to happen, so we'll see some youngsters along the way."
Among the new recruits for the season is veteran lock Marco Wentzel, signed from Wasps in England, as well as utility back SP Marais, from the Southern Kings, and Griffons utility back Hansie Graaf.
Three names missing from the squad list were Riaan Viljoen, Jandre Marais and Bok back JP Pietersen – who left for Japan.
Keegan Daniel has also been confirmed as captain, with Jacques Botes acting as his deputy.