Durban – Sharks flanker Jean Deysel has welcomed the return of their Springbok players back to training this week ahead of their final Currie Cup league phase clash against Western Province in Durban on Saturday.
Du Plessis brothers Jannie and Bismarck, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Tendai Mtawarira, Marcell Coetzee and Patrick Lambie were all back training at Kings Park on Tuesday morning and were expected to play some part in the top-of-the-table clash.
Willem Alberts, however, has been ruled out due to a neck injury he suffered against New Zealand in the final Rugby Championship game over the weekend.
“It's brilliant having them back,” Deysel said after training.
“They bring a different dimension to the side, they bring some experience to the side, so it's awesome having them.
“From training yesterday and today, they slotted in quite well, so they're going to play a massive part in the weekend and the games to come.”
New director of rugby Jake White was also a spectator during the early part of Tuesday's session, although he will only be a spectator for the match as well as the play-offs, before he takes over from Brendan Venter at the end of October.
The former Springbok coach was unveiled on Monday, signing a three-year deal with the Sharks, with Deysel admitting his arrival was a massive boost to the union.
“His reputation speaks for itself,” the big forward said.
“He's a great coach, a World Cup winner and he did a brilliant job with the Brumbies. He took them all the way to the final.
“I'm one of the guys that hasn’t played under Jake yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
“All these guys are (excited) and we're very excited about the future.”
Deysel said some of the younger players were also happy to make way for the returning senior players.
“Brendan is quite a honest guy and that's what we appreciate from him,” he said.
“We had a meeting about this way back, so everybody knew what's happening and he will do what's best for the team on the day.”
The Sharks have employed a highly successful rotation policy throughout the competition, before moving towards selecting their best available match-day 22 as of last weekend.
“I think a lot of the youngsters got their first opportunity in the Currie Cup and they've surprised us all,” said Deysel.
“They've settled themselves in well.
“This whole campaign is proof of it. So we're looking forward to the clash with the Boks back, but at the same time we're also happy with those that have played a part this season.” – Sapa