Sharks coach Sean Everitt faces the tricky task of trying to find consistency in selection, but at the same time he has to give some of his senior Springboks time off during the Rainbow Cup SA tournament.
While Everitt knows there will be disruptions ahead he is hopeful that he’ll have a full-strength squad available for at least the first few weeks of the competition, including for this week’s daunting away trip to Loftus Versfeld for a meeting with the Bulls.
“There will be times in this competition where we have to rest the Boks, because they will be involved in the series against the British and Irish Lions,” said Everitt.
“We have good depth in our squad however and the guys coming in to replace the top dogs will be ready and waiting.”
Some of the players who’ll be required to rest include captain Lukhanyo Am, Bok captain Siya Kolisi, prop Thomas du Toit and wing Sbu Nkosi.
Kolisi is making big strides in the Sharks team following a period of settling in and completing rehabilitation work after his move from the Stormers.
“Siya is coming on nicely, his conditioning has improved drastically, and he is showing good form,” said Everitt. “We are happy where he is.”
With each team playing only six games in the Rainbow Cup SA competition, Everitt said there was little opportunity to rest and rotate players.
“I’m trying to get consistency in team selection, especially for the first two or three weeks. We tested our depth during the Preparation Series where everyone got two games.”
Turning his thoughts to matters elsewhere, Everitt said there was a good positive vibe in the team about the British and Irish Lions coming to South Africa in a few weeks’ time. The Sharks are one of the provincial sides who’ll get to face the tourists.
“There have been some chats over coffee about the team the Lions have selected and there’s a good vibe going,” he said.
“The Boks in our squad are also upbeat, because not all of them might get the opportunity to play against them in a Test match so there’s a lot of excitement about the tour match.”