United Rugby Championship

Star-studded Sharks focused on 'job at hand' even as more decorated players head to Durban

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Grant Williams. (Photo by George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile/Gallo Images)
Grant Williams. (Photo by George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile/Gallo Images)
  • The Sharks have the most Springboks of any South African team in their ranks.
  • More signings, including Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Tshituka and Rohan Janse van Rensburg are on their way to Durban.
  • The making of the Sharks into a star-studded team has not added more pressure to the squad, according to in-form scrumhalf Grant Williams.

With the sweeping changes and acquisitions at the Sharks recently, expectations of consistent winning performances have just been heightened ten-fold in Durban.

According to scrumhalf Grant Williams, for the team, it's business as usual regardless of who makes his way into the Shark Tank.

As it stands, the catalogue of Springboks at the Sharks is mouthwatering, and would be the envy of any local franchise.

It includes an all Bok front row - Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Thomas du Toit. There’s national captain Siya Kolisi, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, centre Lukhanyo Am, wing Makazole Mapimpi and fullback Aphelele Fassi, to name a few.

Incoming at the Shark Tank will be another long-time Bok fellow Eben Etzebeth. Bruising flanker Vincent Tshituka, no-holds-barred Rohan Janse van Rensburg and potent Lions prop Carlu Sadie.

READ | Sharks No 9 Grant Williams on perseverance and in-house competition: 'Things didn't always go my way'

As the signings were announced, the chatter in different quarters was that with this roster, the expectation is to be a force in local rugby and international competition, especially given there are multiple competitions on the go on the rugby calendar.

Fans and observers have held that an eye-catching squad like this should – and will – start collecting trophies.

Is it a conversation being had at Kings Park, though?

"The people who have invested in us expect us to win,"  Williams said.

READ HERE | SA’s URC charge has been true ‘phoenix from ashes’ stuff

He confirmed that heightened expectation is not something they had discussed, but nothing has changed from the goal of winning.

"We focus on the job at hand."

The job at hand is an engagement with the Bulls at Loftus for a United Rugby Championship (URC) quarter-final. 

It’s another opportunity to show what they can do after a disappointing start to last week’s Ulster clash which ultimately cost them the game.

Williams was instrumental in that sensational spell of play.

"We have to be ourselves [against the Bulls]… we have quality players [and] good management. What will be key, is our execution.

"We’ll be fine," he added.

Next week’s clash gets underway in Pretoria at the unfamiliar 13:45 timeslot.

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