There was a throwaway line from Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder that was more revealing than probably intended on Tuesday.
“I feel like the ‘ballie’ in this backline when you consider that the rest of the guys are around 22. The future of the Sharks is really bright when you consider the youthfulness of their backs and the attacking intent that the coach is instilling,” the former Western Province man said.
The background to what Schreuder, 27, said is the “three-year plan” outlined by chief executive Gary Teichmann when he took over from John Smit last year, and which has been endorsed by coach Robert du Preez, who took over from Gary Gold.
Consider a backline tasked with playing positive, ball-in-hand-rugby which is headed by enterprising youngsters in Curwin Bosch, Inny Radebe, Jeremy Ward, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Garth April, Sbu Nkosi, Marius Louw, Lukhanyo Am, Rhyno Smith and Kobus van Wyk.
In one of the most encouraging selections in a long time, coach Du Preez picked a player out of Durban club rugby for the Sharks’ Currie Cup match against the Free State Cheetahs last week.