Super Rugby

Sharks downplay impact of player testing positive for Covid-19

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Grant Williams of Sharks and Sean Everitt (Head Coach) during the Sharks training session at Kings Park.
Grant Williams of Sharks and Sean Everitt (Head Coach) during the Sharks training session at Kings Park.
Steve Haag/Gallo Images
  • Sharks head coach Sean Everitt said they were hardly affected by a player's Covid-19 positive test and two close contacts, who sit out the game against Griquas,
  • Everitt revealed the trio that went into quarantine were one starter and two bench players.
  • Despite the disruption, Everitt said he wanted a "Super Rugby" performance from his team on Friday night.

Sharks head coach Sean Everitt said his team was hardly affected, if at all, by having a player test positive for Covid-19 and two who came into close contact with him having to sit out the Super Rugby Unlocked game with Griquas on Friday night.

"It didn't really affect our preparations," Everitt said.

"We trained well together on Monday. We had no idea who was going to play this weekend. We were able to move on really quickly and we had a really good training session yesterday afternoon.

"You never know how many people have been infected but we did our analysis of our training and fortunately there wasn't a lot of contact.

"That reduced the number of guys that could have come into contact with that player. We are happy where we are.

"Unfortunately, these situations are sometimes out of your control and you just need to focus on the job at hand."

Due to confidentiality prohibitions, the Sharks did not reveal who the three players that missed out were, but Everitt elaborated on their roles in the team.

He also said the player that tested positive would be out for at least 14 days, while his close contacts would self-isolate for seven days and get retested before the game against the Stormers on 21 November in Durban.

"It's two chaps who were going to be on the bench and one starter," said Everitt.

"That's not too many in the bigger scheme of things. We've been rotating our squad and everyone has been getting game time, so that will be an advantage to us.

"There are Covid protocols: the person that has tested positive is to sit out for 14 days and the other guys, who are contacts of the particular positive player, need to sit out for seven and then get re-tested. And that's if they are asymptomatic.

"We'll know next week whether those other two players will be available or not for the Stormers game."

The Sharks are chasing a bonus point win in Kimberley in this round to move to within a point of Super Rugby Unlocked table-toppers the Bulls, who are on 19.

Griquas were punished 39-6 by the Stormers at home last weekend have also suffered a 61-31 loss to the Lions in this season's restart.

Despite the Covid-19 disruption, Everitt said he expected a Super Rugby performance from his team.

"We're clearly not affected at all," he said.

"There's 34 guys that trained on Monday and we all prepare for the game. The team was only going to be announced on Wednesday anyway.

"Everyone prepares for the game as if they are in the starting lineup or the match 23.

"If anything, it's given us a chance to start a guy like Thembelani Bholi, who has made an impact off the bench in the last two weeks, which will give him an opportunity to get match fitness under the belt so that he can compete for a starting place.

"We know that Griquas in Kimberley is not an easy task. Even though they played the Bulls away, they were competitive for much of that game.

"We are under no false expectations of what they might bring to the table. They gave us a good beating here last year. That remains fresh in our players' minds.

"The team that we've put together for Friday night does have Super Rugby experience, so we are expecting Super Rugby standards from our team."



15 Masixole Banda, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli.

Substitutes (from): 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Madot Mabokela, 19 Carl Els, 20 CJ Velleman, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Daniel Kasende, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 Ewan Coetzee, 26 Ashlon Davids


15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Khwezi Mona, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 S'bu Nkosi

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