- Sharks assistant coach Warren Whiteley expects Vincent Tshituka to get going very soon for the Durban franchise.
- Tshituka is with the Sharks in Dublin after joining them from the Lions, but has yet to play for them.
- The Sharks face Irish giants Leinster on Saturday in what will be a stern test to their winning, but equally inconsistent, start to the season.
Sharks assistant coach Warren Whiteley said newly recruited loose forward Vincent Tshituka is coming along well for them.
Tshituka, who made the move from Johannesburg to Durban, hasn’t cracked the Sharks’ match-day 23 as head coach Sean Everitt has preferred Dylan Richardson, James Venter, and Phendulani ‘Phepsi’ Buthelezi as his starting loose forwards with Sikhumbuzo Notshe coming off the bench.
READ HERE | Familiar faces Wayne Barnes, Angus Gardner to ref Bok Tests on end-of-year tour
That’s some competition to deal with, but Whiteley said Tshituka has been training with them in Dublin as they prepare for their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against Leinster on Saturday.
“Vince has been training with us and he’s been looking good and strong,” Whiteley said.
READ | Bok lock Eben Etzebeth set for Sharks bow on 15 October against Glasgow
“He had his first 15-on-15 session as he recovers from injury, so I’m pretty sure it won’t be too long before he’s back on the field.” The composition of the Sharks’ back-row has fallen under the radar, especially with their graft being admirable.
Richardson, who is a Scottish international who has chosen to stay at flank after early stints at hooker, has shown his value.
Venter has gone about his work quietly while Buthelezi’s ball-carrying graft has been noticeable.
Notshe’s experience has allowed the Sharks to see off games that could have been hairy if they didn’t have experienced campaigners.
Their cohesion has been critical for the Sharks and Whiteley expects them to play a critical role against the Irish giants that have again started the tournament very well.
DEEP DIVE | How SA’S URC teams embraced small, firecracker players once considered outcasts
“The most important thing here is the cohesion between the players because getting that going does take time in that position,” Whiteley said.
“The guys that have started over the last two weeks have only really played a handful of games together.
“We’ve been excited by what we’ve seen over the past two weeks. We know that there’s going to be more improvement in that department.
“There are also guys coming back from injury who’ll join the squad, but cohesion and guys playing together is important to find what works best for the team.”