‘It’s all about learning’ - Fassi

2018-09-19 11:37
Sharks youngster Aphelele Fassi aims to keep learning from experienced team-mates.

Sharks youngster Aphelele Fassi aims to keep learning from experienced team-mates. (Gallo Images)

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Sharks starlet Aphelele Fassi has no regrets about ditching a promising cricket career for rugby and, as a matter of fact, the youngster says he is living his dream at the “Shark Tank”.


The 20-year-old rose in stature last month when he made his debut in the Currie Cup and helped the Sharks sink the Blue Bulls in their first outing in the competition.


The King William’s Town-born speedster came in during the second half of that match and went on to announce his arrival with a great try.


Unlike many, Fassi had the option to play cricket or rugby at a professional level, as he was quite sharp in both codes during his time at Dale College.


Last year, the youngster scored an unbeaten 101 runs off 99 balls in a 192-run chase for Dale, but regardless of those impressive statistics, he chose rugby in the end.


“I think I chose rugby because it’s my first passion and I think the offers that I got in rugby were better,” said Fassi on Tuesday.


“In cricket, I made it to provincial level and I was a medium pace bowler and batted at No.3. You can say that was a promising career, but I don’t think it came close to rugby because I prospered even more there and that’s why I chose rugby.”


From three appearances in the Currie Cup, Fassi has scored two tries, against the Bulls and the Pumas. The youngster is hungry for success on the pitch in his new career.


“I think it has been a great year for me, but the one thing I do is keep telling myself that I can learn a lot from guys like S’bu Nkosi, because for me it’s all about learning. Where I am now is because I have learned and I’m still going to apply myself more,” said Fassi.


“I feel that the technical team is giving me all the support that I need. They backed me and obviously, I’m very grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me.”


Fassi can play at fullback or wing, but prefers the No.15 jersey.

“I think it’s all about where the coach wants you to play,” he said.


He will be one of the key players for Sharks when they host the wounded Lions who recently lost to Western Province 65-38 in Johannesburg.


“I think Province capitalised on their opportunities. I think if we can also capitalise on ours, it will be a good game for us.”


Meanwhile, the Sharks have signed Bulls youngster Ruben van Heerden on a three-year contract.


The 20-year-old lock made a breakthrough last year when he represented the SA U20 and also earned his Super Rugby debut.


Sharks coach Robert du Preez said: “Ruben is a talented young lock and a great acquisition for the Sharks. He is a natural athlete and has all the attributes needed to be a great lock. We welcome him to our Sharks family.”


The match against the Bulls will kick off at 5.15 pm on Saturday at King’s Park.



Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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