Sharks coach Sean Everitt has admitted that Marcell Coetzee’s return to Kings Park as a Bulls player will be a weird experience.
Coetzee started his career at the Durban, where he played for the Sharks for seven years from 2010 to 2016, before joining Ulster.
Earlier this year, he loose forward negotiated an early released from his contract with Ulster and returned to South Africa having signed for the Bulls.
On Saturday, he will return to his old stomping ground for the first time when he captain’s the Bulls against the Sharks in their Rainbow SA Cup.
Commenting on his former charge’s return, Everitt said: ‘I think Marcell still holds a special place in many Sharks supporters’ hearts. It will be quite sore.’
‘I coached Marcell when he came out of the little school, Port Natal, and brought him through the system.
‘It will be quite weird to see him playing for the Bulls. He was magnificent last Friday night, and he’s been really good for Ulster over the last few years when he’s played and been injury-free.
‘What’s good about Marcell coming here is that we’ve got guys that want to prove themselves against the best, and he’s undoubtedly been one of the best loose-forwards in Europe over the last few years. It’s exciting times.’
‘Marcell is motivated every week that he puts a rugby jersey on, so whether he is captain or not, he’s going to put in the best performance he can.’
Coetzee had surprisingly missed out on selection in South Africa’s 46-man squad for the incoming British & Irish Lions tour, but with uncertainty still reigning over the availability of the injured Duane Vermeulen, he is the frontrunner in the race to come into the squad as the Bok No 8’s replacement.
And Everitt believes the Bulls game against the Sharks will serve as the perfect opportunity for Coetzee to stake his Bok claim.
‘I’m sure he sees a gap in the Springbok setup with the injury to Duane. He would have been disappointed to be left out of that squad last week.
‘I’m sure he wants to put his hand up so that if they do replace Duane, he has that opportunity to wear the Springbok jersey against the Lions.’
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