United Rugby Championship

Fassi aims to use Bok learnings to make the Sharks better in 2022

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Aphelele Fassi. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Aphelele Fassi. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
  • Aphelele Fassi is back for the Sharks armed with lessons he's taken in from his time with the Springboks.
  • Fassi spent a fair bit of time with the Springboks last year, but only played two Test matches.
  • The Sharks resume their United Rugby Championship program when they face the Lions in Johannesburg.

Aphelele Fassi spent the best part of last year touring with the Springboks without getting a game outside of the home Tests against Georgia and Argentina.

With Willie le Roux's fluctuating form, that Fassi wasn't playing was a source of hot debate, but there's also the general consensus that players who hover around the national team setup tend to be better for their franchises.

With the United Rugby Championship resuming on Saturday when the Sharks travel to Johannesburg to play the Lions, Fassi aims to take his Bok learnings into the Sharks setup.

"The things I learned from the Boks are things I'm trying to rectify and take with me into the team [Sharks]," Fassi said.

"There are Boks in the team and they bring their experience from there, while there are also guys who played in the URC and they've told us how the competition is.

"It's a great blend of those guys and the guys from the Boks."

READ HERE | How Aphelele Fassi overcame doubts to realise Springbok dream: 'It's a sign of the hard work'

With Le Roux, Frans Steyn and Damian Willemse being the regular fullbacks, Fassi was stationed on the wing.

However, the Sharks have depth in this position and with the Sharks' first-choice wings in Makazole Mapimpi and S'bu Nkosi, Fassi doesn't need to be retreaded at wing.

The positional switch isn't something that's a worry for Fassi:

Any player has their regular position, but the transition hasn't been very difficult. Having two quality Springbok wings has made that reasonably easy for me.

The Sharks have already won their first South African URC derby where they beat the Bulls at Kings Park while the Lions did the same when they beat the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Lions' intensity from that game is something Fassi said makes the Lions a dangerous side, but they'll also need to be sharp when capitalising on their chances.

"The Lions are full of intensity and when that happens, mistakes come into play," Fassi said.

"The one thing that we've been able to look after is being able to capitalize on the opportunities we receive.

"Also, being able to play in the right areas of the field is something we want to achieve."

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