- Sharks coach Sean Everitt is confident they’ll turn up with
a full-strength team for the Currie Cup semi-final against Western Province at
Newlands next weekend.
- The Sharks have been ravaged by Covid-19 interruptions,
which necessitated the cancellation of their last pool match against Province.
- By the time they face WP next weekend, 21 days would have
lapsed since their 47-19 win over Griquas.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt said they were confident of
showing up with a full-strength team for the Currie Cup semi-final against
Western Province at Newlands next weekend.
The Sharks have been ravaged by Covid-19 interruptions,
which necessitated their last round robin match against Province to be called
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SA Rugby went a step further and granted the Durbanites an
extra week’s grace by moving the semi-finals and final back by a week, from 16
January to 23 January and 30 January, respectively.
But, at this desperately late stage, any team that fails to
have a Covid-free match day squad will forfeit their match.
“I’m extremely confident that we will have a
full-strength team for the semi-final,” said Everitt.
“The players have really tried hard in isolating
themselves at home and I believe the Bulls, Province and Lions have been in the
“No one wants to lose that opportunity of playing in a
semi and possibly a final.
“We can only control what we control and, as we stand
now, we’ll have a full team to select from next week.”
Everitt expounded on the Covid matter that wreaked havoc
with his side’s momentum.
Before they were due to play WP, the Sharks had beaten
Griquas convincingly at Kings Park and were looking to carry that forward into
the business end of the competition.
By the time they face Province next weekend, however, 21
days would have lapsed since that 47-19 victory.
“We had a good week of training but, obviously, we had
some guys that returned to training late this week because of Covid
protocols,” said Everitt.
“It affects their return to play: if you’re a contact
[case] you can return to pay immediately but if you tested positive then
there’s a return to play process.
“We did have a number of players that tested positive
last week, so some of them will only return tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.
“The rest of the guys have resumed training, so we are
in a pretty good space at the moment.”
The coach said the sharpness of players who contracted the
deadly virus after their recovery varied from player to player.
“It varies from player to player and the severity of
the Covid symptoms they had,” he said.
“Generally, the return to play protocols in place give
the guys five days to return to full training, which helps quite a lot.
“Guys with mild symptoms are able to return to full
fitness a lot quicker.
“You can be out from 10 to 21 days and the longer
you’re out, the longer it will take for you to get back to full fitness.
“We don’t have anyone who has been ruled out at the
moment but we will have testing again on Monday.”