‘It’s the year for the Sharks’

Etienne Oosthuizen’s time with last year's Super Rugby runners-up, the Brumbies, bodes well for the 21-year-old’s return to South Africa and the Sharks.

Oosthuizen played a small but influencial role in the Brumbies’ 2013 campaign, although a Super Rugby trophy wasn’t to be for the young South African, as Jake White’s side went down 27-22 to the Chiefs in last year's final.

‘It was a very successful year for the Brumbies from where they started and then ended, in a period of two years under Jake,’ said Oosthuizen on the Sharks website. ‘I personally took it as a great learning opportunity, especially at such a young age, to get that kind of experience and learning from them. Although it wasn’t the best time for me to be away from family, I did take it as a learning curve for my career.'

Oosthuizen feels that his time with the Australian side will only help with his time at the Sharks, especially under White once again.

‘It is fantastic to be back in South Africa and there is a great team environment here, everyone is comfortable with their team-mates and there is a desire to achieve something this year. The players are eager to win some titles, especially after winning the Currie Cup last year. I’m enjoying it here; I’m having the time of my life at the moment.

‘The team speaks for itself with 12 or 13 Springboks. On paper, there is a lot of talent here and I think with the coaching structures that have been brought in, together with the hard work we’re putting in on the field and the extras that get the team vibe up, I think it’s going to be a big year for us. Possibly “the” year.’

The Sharks first test under White will be when they travel to Allianz Park to take on Saracens in a exhibition friendly on Saturday.

Photo: Sharks website