Having turned down lucrative offers to leave Durban, Aphelele Fassi is determined to realise his potential on a multi-year contract with the Sharks. DYLAN JACK reports.
In March, Fassi put pen to paper on a long-term deal in Durban to end speculation linking him with a move to the DHL Stormers.
Having settled on staying put with the Sharks, Fassi has made a promising start to the season on what has been a tough tour for the Durbanites, who have lost all three of their opening fixtures against defending champions Munster, eight-time champions Leinster and Welsh outfit Ospreys.
The 25-year-old is currently second in the league for metres gained (274) this season.
“I wouldn’t say that I have unfinished business,” Fassi told SARugbymag.co.za. “For me, I still want to do more for this jersey at the Sharks. That’s the main reason why I stayed.”
The three-cap Bok broke into Test rugby in 2021, scoring two tries in his first two appearances, but received just one more cap – in the historic loss to Wales in Bloemfontein in 2022 – before being left out of the squad that prepared for the 2023 World Cup.
“It’s good for me that I know exactly what I need to do to get into the squad,” Fassi said on his Springbok ambitions. “That can’t happen if I don’t perform for the Sharks.
“Coming into the new season, I need to focus on getting that consistency in my performance, reviewing where I can improve after each game. There is always that want to improve my game in a different way.”
Fassi is on the verge of making his 50th Sharks appearance in the final Vodacom URC tour match against Zebre, having played the entirety of his club career at Kings Park.
“It’s pretty special,” he said. “Putting this jersey that has so much history around it on for the 50th time is a dream come true.”
Photo: Sam Barnes/Gallo Images