Brent Russell’s time playing for the Wildebeest has helped his confidence and he feels he is ready to take the step up to Super 14 level against the Blues this weekend if needed.
“I feel I’m playing alright,” Russell told keo.co.za. “and my confidence is up after the good run the Wildebeest are having. All I need now is an opportunity (at Super 14 level).”
Russell has had no indication yet from Sharks coach Dick Muir whether he will actually be included in the squad for the must-win match. “He hasn’t told me anything yet, but he hasn’t selected the backline yet either so maybe there is a chance.”
Russell, a crowd favourite all over the country, may get his chance after the injuries to Henno Mentz (calf) and JP Pietersen (ankle) picked up in the emphatic win over the Calamity Cats at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The Sharks need to win all four of their remaining matches if they hope to sneak into the play-offs, but will have to deal with a resurgent Blues outfit, who themselves are chasing the last semi-final berth.
The pace and unpredictability of Russell could be just the tonic Muir’s men need to keep their slim semi-finals dream alive against the former champions.
“It would be great and I definitely feel I can contribute. I must just wait and see. I always like to make an impact, so whether I start or come off the bench it will just be great to play
By Andrew Hollely