Sharks settle for continuity

Director of rugby Gary Gold says the Sharks cannot afford to have a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to appointing any new coach, reports CRAIG LEWIS.

At the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, Gold intimated that he’d be stepping back from a hands-on coaching role, with a new head coach expected to be appointed down the line.

Although there were believed to have been discussions with former assistant coach Grant Bashford about making a return to the Sharks, in the end Gold will continue to head up the coaching team during the upcoming Currie Cup.

'We aren’t going to make any knee-jerk reactions about bringing anyone in at a moment’s notice,' Gold commented. 'We identified a candidate, but for personal reasons, the individual couldn’t come in. But, continuity, for me, was most important thing.'

The one change has seen age-group coach Ryan Strudwick promoted to coach the forwards as a replacement for Brad Macleod-Henderson, who resigned after Super Rugby.

Two other assistant coaches from Super Rugby, Michael Horak and Paul Anthony, will coach the U21 and U19 teams respectively.

The Sharks begin their Currie Cup campaign against the Pumas on 7 August.

'This is a great opportunity for me to work with these guys and I just want us to knuckle down and go for it,' said Gold. 'Coaches have a role to play but the teams need to produce. It’s not about me or other coaches, it’s about the players.

'My overwhelming emotion was, “stuff this, we’re going to do this!” I have confidence in the ability of this coaching group and the players, and that is why I am so excited about this Currie Cup season.'

Photo: Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis