Boks’ Nienaber working with Sharks ahead of Super Rugby

WATCH: Boks’ Nienaber working with Sharks ahead of Super Rugby

The Sharks have had the help of Springbok defence coach Jacques Nienaber this week as the prepare for the looming Super Rugby season.

Jacques Nienaber
Steve Haag Sports

The Springbok assistant coach is working with the Durban outfit as part of his role at SA Rugby. Nienaber confirmed that he is available to work with all the Super Rugby franchises this year and is set to help out at the Lions in two weeks time as well.

His input will be a boon to the Sharks as they prepare for the looming season under the tutelage of a new coaching team headed up by Sean Everitt. The new Sharks coach says that the Springboks’ success at the Rugby World Cup was largely due to their impressive defensive system.

“The success of the World Cup prompted us to look at a few things and Jacques is probably one of the best at his trade when it comes to defensive stuff. He’s been really kind to offer us advice on the way forward. He’s just come to have a look at what we’re doing and help the coaches more so than the players,” Everitt said.

Along with the presence of Nienaber, the Sharks have also welcomed back most of their Springboks. Some of the players had an extended break after their triumph at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and did not partake in the Sharks preseason preparations at the end of the year.

Everitt says the returning national players bring back some much needed experience and familiarity, considering how many players have left Durban over the past six months.

“The experience that they bring is unbelievable. You know that we are a new, fresh team and to have those guys back that have been in the system for a while plays a massive part as far as confidence is concerned,” Everitt said.

“We also have to take a lot of confidence out of them with regards to where we are at in our country. There’s been a lot of negative spoken about South African rugby over the past couple of years but that has changed since winning the World Cup. I think the players have to start believing that we are the best nation in the World as far as rugby is concerned.”

The Sharks will take on Russia in their first preseason friendly match on Friday 10 January on the outer fields of Kings Park. Kickoff is scheduled at 17h00. Everitt has confirmed that he will rotate his squad in the match to give players game time, while giving the coaching staff a chance to gauge their players form and combinations ahead of the season.

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