Dedicated new Shark

2013-12-14 00:00

TIM Swiel, the new signing from Western Province, is convinced he made the right move in joining the Sharks, and new coach Jake White, in Durban.

The 20-year-old Swiel has played most of his rugby at flyhalf but, in the absence of the injured SP Marais, the Sharks could use him at fullback in the early weeks of Super Rugby.

Marais, the Sharks’ regular fullback during the Currie Cup this year, has undergone recent surgery and is expected to miss the opening few weeks of Super Rugby.

But Swiel, the former SA Schools flyhalf who was a key figure in helping WP to their win in the national U21 final against the Blue Bulls this year, is not looking too far ahead.

Swiel joined the Sharks for their pre-season preparations a month ago and said the sessions had been taxing.

“I’m training hard. The main goal is to play Super Rugby, but you have to tick the small boxes first,” he told the Sharks website.

“I’m hoping that if I keep doing everything necessary, keep training hard and do the little things well, the big things — like selection — will come.”

Swiel said yesterday that his priority is to see action for the Sharks.

“I like playing flyhalf, but I am also happy at fullback, I just enjoy playing. I’ll play wherever my coach selects me.”

A product of Bishops in Cape Town, Swiel has had two years in the WP U21 team, but is now looking forward to playing under White and the new coaching staff at the Sharks.

“There are a lot of new things happening here and in terms of coaching, Jake White has a distinguished record, which made the decision to come to the Sharks an easy one.

“To be under his mentorship will be great for my career.

“The culture here is great, I’ve been welcomed with open arms by all the players.”

Swiel believes he is already reaping the rewards of his decision to move to Durban.

“The hours have been tough and long, but the training is well-structured and I’ve learnt a lot. On the field, on the track or in the gym, it’s been very good for me and I’m getting stronger every day.”

He said that the Durban humidity remains a problem, but he is enjoying the atmosphere of King’s Park and Durban.

“I’m looking to benefit from the likes of Jake White as coach and even John Smit as the CEO. Both come with the reputation of a successful Rugby World Cup, which is great for the union.”

Swiel said that he has also been impressed by the Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt. “We do a lot of skills and speed work, which I enjoy.”

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