The Sharks, in search of attacking flair, are spreading their coaching net

2013-01-19 00:00

THE Sharks are leaving little to chance as they prepare for the Super Rugby season and the innovative former All Black flyhalf, Carlos Spencer, has joined John Plumtree’s coaching panel at King’s Park.

Spencer, who served as John Mitchell’s assistant at the Lions last year and was closely involved in tutoring flyhalf Elton Jantjies, has been out at the Sharks’ practices this week. He played 35 Tests for the All Blacks and proved one of New Zealand’s most flamboyant and creative flyhalves.

“We are using him as a consultant,” Sharks manager Rudolf Straeuli told Weekend Witness yesterday. “He will help with developing the handling and kicking skills of the backs. We want to freshen things up and we are also making use of John McFarlane [Springbok defensive coach] ahead of the new season.”

Plumtree was surprised that no one was making use of Spencer’s talents. “His experience as a player and the opportunity for us to use him was great for us.

“He loves his coaching and his knowledge of flyhalf and backline play is invaluable. He will also be looking at kicking skills, he was a great tactical kicker himself and he is really good at passing on his knowledge.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to use him here and it’s good for the players to have a change.

“Because he’s going to be here for a couple of weeks, he can enjoy himself and get to know the players which can only be of benefit for every­one.

“I was really impressed with what he did with Elton Jantjies,” Plumtree told the Sharks website.

Spencer said he was enjoying being in Durban and working with the Sharks.

“Plum [John Plumtree] invited me to come here and spend a couple of weeks with the Sharks, obviously to have a look at Pat Lambie and a few of the other boys. I’m really happy to be here.

“The Sharks have always been a very competitive side, up there among the top teams, be it Currie Cup or Super Rugby. They’ve always had a very dominant forward pack and backed that up with some pretty skilful backs.

“They are always challenging for a top four spot and finals; they’re an exciting team to watch.

“They play a good brand of rugby, one I enjoy, as well as being attacking players.

“They came close last year and hopefully they can do it this year. I’m looking forward to it, to see how they go this year.”

Working primarily with the flyhalves, he will spend a lot of time with Lambie.

“I enjoyed my time with Elton; he’s an exciting and skilful player. Pat is built along the same lines. He’s one of those up-and-coming players with a lot of skill and one certainly for the future — both for the Sharks and South African rugby.

“I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time with him and hopefully I can share a few of my ideas with him and teach him a bit of stuff,” Spencer said.

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