United Rugby Championship

Kolisi, Fassi praise at the top of Everitt's agenda ahead of Stormers clash

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Springbok captain Siya Kolisi. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
  • Sharks coach Sean Everitt had high praise for the award-winning Siya Kolisi and Aphelele Fassi.
  • The duo won the SA Rugby Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards respectively.
  • Everitt also welcomed back hooker Bongi Mbonambi for the United Rugby Championship clash against the Stormers on Saturday.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt praised Siya Kolisi's contributions to the Springboks and the Sharks' causes in 2021.

Kolisi shrugged off a lack of fitness and form in his move from the Stormers/Western Province to the Sharks, from where he became an outstanding player and leader for the Springboks.

Kolisi won the SA Rugby player of the year award and while the likes of Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Eben Etzebeth, and Makazole Mapimpi all excelled, Kolisi played with a level of consistency that was difficult to match.

Aphelele Fassi may have had his international debut delayed by a year because of Covid-19, but was the form young player of the past two years.

Everitt was in no doubt that the two star players were deserving winners.

"We are very fortunate and we are very happy with the reward that Siya has received," Everitt said.

"It's just rewards for the effort he's put in at the Sharks and the form he has displayed at the Springboks.

"It's credit for the hard work that he has put in because he was under the pump from a critical perspective with regards to his 2020 performances.

"He's got that right now and we're very proud of him. The same is very much applicable for Aphelele.

"He's been in fine form and in 2020, he was the form fullback at the time."

With Kolisi and Fassi starting for the Sharks in their United Rugby Championship clash against the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday, Everitt also welcomed back Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi back into the Sharks fray.

The Stormers' forward power carried them home at Loftus last week when they beat the Bulls 30-26.

"He'll certainly strengthen our scrum and anyone with international experience will be an asset to our team," Everitt said.

"In saying that, I thought Kerron van Vuuren played very well last week and probably slightly unlucky that Bongi is coming back.

"That said, Bongi is the best in his position in South Africa and we're certainly going to utilise that."

Saturday's clash kicks off at 17:05.

Teams

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutions: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Kutha Mchunu, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Tito Bonilla, 23 Jeremy Ward

Stormers

TBA

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