The Sharks has named Sean Everitt as their new Currie Cup head coach. Photo: The Sharks on facebook

DURBAN – Highly respected KZN coach Sean Everitt has been appointed as the successor to Robert du Preez for the Sharks’ 2019 Currie Cup campaign, which begins two weeks today (July 12) at Jonsson Kings Park against recently-crowned SuperSport Challenge winners Griquas.

Du Preez, who started at the Sharks as Currie Cup coach in 2016, ended the 2019 Super Rugby season with a cloud over his future at the franchise, but while he has been stood down now as Currie Cup coach, it is not cut and dried that he will discontinue as Super Rugby coach in 2020.

The Sharks will shortly undertake their standard post-Super Rugby review process and the results will be made known in due course.

Du Preez is contracted to the KZN franchise until the end of next year but it is looking increasingly likely that he has coached his last game at the Sharks.

Du Preez makes way for a people’s person in the affable, personable Everitt, who has performed many coaching roles at the Sharks in more than a decade at the union and is much loved by the players.

Everitt has coached the Sharks’ age group teams, their Vodacom Cup and SuperSport teams and been an assistant on various Currie Cup and Super Rugby staffs.

In his first job as head coach of the senior team, he will be supported by current Super Rugby assistants in Nick Easter and David Williams.

Easter, the former England loose forward, has made a significant impact at the Sharks as a breakdown specialist and in him remaining at the Sharks, he continues to cut his teeth in coaching after retiring as a player not that long ago.

Easter, another friendly, approachable person, will combine well with Everitt in brightening up the Shark’s public image. The pair will be assisted by current Sharks attack coach David Williams, who enjoyed much success with the Kings in their stand-out 2017 season when he coached the likes of Makazole Mapimpi, Louis Schreuder and Tyler Paul.

The rise of Everitt to the top job at the Sharks is just reward for the sensational success he had with the Sharks’ Under-19 side last year. The KZN team went undefeated in 18 games to clinch the national age group title and 12 of their players were called up to the SA Under-20 squad that has just finished duty in Argentina.

It is likely that a number of those players will again play under Everitt in the senior side, with the Currie Cup these days very much about blooding fresh talent and growing Super Rugby depth.

With Super Rugby over for the Sharks after the quarter-final defeat to the Brumbies last week, they lose a raft of senior players to overseas club rugby, the likes of the three Du Preez brothers, Ruan Botha, Philip van der Walt, Jacques Vermeulen, Akker van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen.

Also, a number of other players are likely to have Springbok commitments in the coming months —  Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Mapimpi and Sbu Nkosi — so the Currie Cup is truly going to be about opportunity for up-and-comers.

@MikeGreenaway67

 

The Mercury

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