Rugby Co-operation

Apart from his desire to see success taking place for the senior team, Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White also has a plan to make club rugby all the richer for the talent in the province.

His view is obviously that any player in the senior squad who isn't involved in a Super Rugby match, but is fit and able to play rugby, should not be kicking up his heels when his talent could be used on a field elsewhere.

And to put him into the Vodacom Cup, where The Sharks XV play, would probably just be to the detriment of a promising young player.

"One thing we are going to be doing is that we have divided all contracted players into the various clubs and every contracted player will be expected to play club rugby if he is not involved in the Super Rugby campaign," he explains.

"The bottom line is that 10 or 12 contracted players might be involved in a match featuring two local club teams. We have the buy-in from the clubs on that. We'll also have a club day in the next few weeks where the players will be expected to train in their club kit. This will help local clubs attract spectators and sponsors to the game."

He gave the example of a senior Sharks player who would provide greater value all-round to be playing for a club if not for the Cell C Sharks.

"For Jacques Botes to play Vodacom Cup rugby, away from home, may jeopardise the pathway of a young loose forward, hindering his progress, but it also proves nothing to me.

"But if he can play for his local club, we can control his workload. Between us and the club coaches, this means we can control the development path way of that player."

Michael Marnewick