Sharks get fresh ideas

Springbok defence coach John McFarland and former All Blacks flyhalf Carlos Spencer have helped the Sharks to prepare for Super Rugby this season.

Coach John Plumtree told the Sharks’ website that McFarland’s input, which is part of a new initiative by the Springboks to help and share ideas with South African franchises, had been invaluable.

‘He has had a lot of experience coaching at a top level for a long time, he’s a specialist in defence and we wanted to pick his brains, to make use of his knowledge this week. It’s a good change for the boys with some fresh ideas.

‘It’s important that we adopt the philosophy of sharing information from the Springbok management to us which will also give John a better idea of our players by working with us. We’re able to open up the working relationship with the Springbok coaches, starting with him.’

Plumtree said his players had also enjoyed having Spencer, the ex-Lions backs coach, in Durban.

‘I’d like him here a little longer – he’s not here for the whole tournament as he has family back in Joburg – but he will help us through the course of the season, he’ll see how we go and he’ll come down periodically.

‘He will be good for not only our flyhalves but also our backs, he’ll also be working on our kicking game. But really, he’s just touched the surface of what I want from him.’