Vital that we use home conditions to our advantage, says Sharks prop Du Toit

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Thomas du Toit (Gallo Images)
Thomas du Toit (Gallo Images)
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

With the United Rugby Championship (URC) and the Champions Cup taking place in very different conditions in the northern and southern hemisphere, travelling teams have to adapt each week. 

READ | 'Next job mentality': How the Sharks affected turnaround after Everitt sacking, Cardiff turmoil

Speaking to the Sharks website, prop Thomas du Toit believes it's imperative for local sides to use the summer weather to their advantage.  

"It's absolutely vital to use the conditions to your advantage," said Du Toit. 

"We've been training in this heat for the last couple of weeks, and we've seen how the change in climate for the guys who played Connacht has affected them. They're really struggling." 

With that in mind, Du Toit believes teams coming from a European winter to South Africa will find it tough over 80 minutes.  

"Travel is real and very difficult, it's tough for the touring side and even for us. We've trained and played in these conditions, and we'll definitely try to use that to our advantage." 

The Sharks are back in action on Saturday when they face Bordeaux in a Champions Cup clash in Durban. 

They will be buoyed by the fact that they will welcome back several Springboks rested for the away URC loss to Connacht.

Du Toit isn't worried about any rustiness creeping in for those players who spent some time on the sideline.  

"It was the perfect opportunity to reward those who have trained well, as well as given a rest to some of the players," he explains.  

"We know with the travel schedule, it is very difficult to play a big game on the road and another massive one a week later here in Durban against Bordeaux. 

"I don't think you lose a lot of match fitness in a week. In my experience, you don't really lose anything after one week, maybe two or three weeks at a time. The best case scenario is to play every game, and you'll be as match-fit as you possibly can be, but that won't do your body many favours. 

"A physical break only isn't what's important, but a mental break as well. If you take the amount of minutes each guy has played week in, and week out, that's 1 200 to 1 400 minutes in a season. So a mental break is just as necessary as a physical one," Du Toit added. 

The match against Bordeaux kicks-off at 17:15 on Saturday.

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