Tens challenge excites Sharks

Jean Deysel says the Sharks have a good mix of youth and experience for this weekend's World Club 10s in Mauritius.

Deysel, who won four Test caps for the Boks, will captain a Sharks side featuring three other Super Rugby regulars – front rowers Dale Chadwick and Kyle Cooper and utility back Joe Pietersen – and many of the franchise’s top young talents.

The Sharks will face the Asian Pacific Dragons in Pool B on Saturday, when they’ll also tackle English club Saracens and Euskadi, a French invitational side from the Basque region. Pool A features the Brumbies, Force, Toulon and Italian All Stars.

Deysel (31) and Pietersen (32) are the oldest members of a Sharks squad coached by Ryan Strudwick. Deysel believes the combination of experience and youth will help the team this weekend, highlighting centre Sandile Kubeka and No 8 Ayron Schramm as potential stars.

'There are plenty of young players to watch out for, like Sandile and Schramm. The youngsters bring a lot of energy. They’re so keen to run with the ball and it’s great for them to get an opportunity like this. We’re really excited to play with them. I think they’ll lift us a bit and we’ll lift them a bit, and we’ll see how it goes on Saturday.'

Deysel admitted that the 10-a-side format was new to him and most of the squad.

'Tens is very new to us. The guys have said there’s a lot of running, so we’ll just make sure we’re fit, ready and throw the ball around a bit. It’s something new for all of us, and new is always exciting. We’re all excited and ready to get going.'

Meanwhile, former Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has joined the Asia Pacific Dragons coaching staff as a technical adviser. Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson is the Dragons’ head coach.

World Club 10s website

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Simon Borchardt