Sharks quell intrigue over JJ van der Mescht’s ‘Pieter-Steph’ switch … for now



  • JJ van der Mescht’s choice at No 7 for the Sharks this weekend suggests he might modify to all by the footsteps of Pieter-Steph du Toit.
  • The 21-year-old lock positively boasts your full attributes to make a worthwhile transition in future.
  • Sharks coach Sean Everitt although insists that his choice is nothing elevated than an “experiment” for now.

The 1st step in grooming a mannequin new Pieter-Steph du Toit?

Sharks coach Sean Everitt on Wednesday was fast to stage out his assortment of JJ van der Mescht at blindside flanker for Friday’s Currie Cup opener in opposition to the Pumas at Kings Park is, a minimal of for now, nothing elevated than “experimental”.

Then as shortly as additional, World Rugby’s present Participant-of-the-12 months was furthermore a specialist lock deputising at free ahead pretty only a few years beforehand.

“In the intervening time we nonetheless see JJ as a lock,” acknowledged Everitt.

“It is an experiment for us. If it goes appropriately, then positively he’ll be an choice in that place.

Thought-about a prodigy at junior stage since his days at Glenwood, 21-year-old Van der Mescht positively possesses the type of qualities which have made Du Toit so influential all by the No 7 jersey.

Whereas presumably not as gangly, the 1.97m, 127kg exponent appears to be like equally sturdy, presumably even “clumsy” to the Springbok incumbent, which belies a finer skillset that includes a effectivity to hitch the freeway very successfully and a few good palms.

“JJ positively possesses the skills and the tempo to be an atmosphere good blindsider,” acknowledged Everitt.

“It’s a probability to see one among many best strategies it goes prepared that he hasn’t carried out in for a while.”

One completely totally totally utterly totally different foremost consideration for giving Van der Mescht game-time all by the place is the Sharks’ longer-term expectation that participation all by the PRO16, the place circumstances is perhaps slower, merely will enhance his suitability for the place.

“We now ought to attempt subsequent yr too, the place we’ll play PRO Rugby. The video video video video video video video games are tons tighter and there may be additionally fairly a reliance on the set-piece and mauls,” acknowledged Everitt.

“With that in concepts, if JJ can put collectively himself at flank, it’d presumably presumably be good for us. We’ll see one among many best strategies it goes.”

Van der Mescht’s choice varieties a part of the broader theme of the Durbanites going into the weekend’s recreation with a pack bulging on the seams through dimension.

Not that any coach might presumably be complaining about with the facility to name upon an infinite chunk of meat like Thomas du Toit, who’s as shortly as additional at tighthead, to provide additional bolstering.

“We now have acquired had pretty only a few components over the previous few weeks, so we now have wished to tweak the pack. Nonetheless it’s a really sturdy facet,” acknowledged Everitt.

“The reality that Thomas returns is completely good. We now have acquired struggled in our set-pieces with out him. It is repeatedly good to have a Springbok as shortly as additional.”

Kick-off in Durban is at 19:00 on Friday.

Groups:

Sharks

15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, eight Thembelani Bholi, 7 JJ van der Mescht, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, four Ruben van Heerden, three Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Zain Davids, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Sbu Nkosi

Pumas

TBA



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