Makazole Mapimpi of the Cell C Sharks during the Cell C Sharks training session at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on August 31. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES
Makazole Mapimpi of the Cell C Sharks during the Cell C Sharks training session at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on August 31. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES

The Sharks’ strength and conditioning guru, Thulani Nteta, says a four-week contact training period will be enough for them to get into shape for any tournament SA’s rugby bosses may use as a domestic showpiece.

The provincial competition is expected to be launched in the coming weeks and there is a chance it could consist of the four Super Rugby teams together with the Cheetahs, Griquas and Pumas.

Either way‚ getting ready is the name of the game‚ especially with SA Rugby giving the domestic teams the go-ahead to restart contact training on Tuesday.

“We’ve been given around four weeks to prepare with contact‚ so we’re taking it week by week. From there‚ I think we’ll be given the actual starting date as that’ll have an impact on the Covid-19 testing. That’s also going to be a determining factor for the powers that be‚” Nteta said.

“We often ask for the four weeks and it’s normally the benchmark. We can get the guys physically prepared contact-wise to take the knocks.”

Nteta said Tuesday’s news was uplifting for the team as they have been longing to get back on the field as a group. That is something they will have to do safely.

“The spirits were uplifted and the guys were very happy. We had a session earlier this morning and the spirits were high. Rugby brings the guys together, but the news was extremely good for the guys‚” Nteta said.

While the Covid-19-enforced five-month break has changed the face of sport around the world, he said the time off had worked wonders for his injured players. 

“It’s been a blessing in disguise as we’ve been able to zone in on the players’ needs and deal with rehab. The guys are in great shape, but rugby isn’t about running and gym work, there’s contact‚ movement and getting into the game model. We’re now going to look at where we are game-wise from a conditioning perspective‚” Nteta said.

“We’ve started with some bag work‚ but we’re going to move from that. At the moment we’re phasing it in. We need to get the forwards into some scrumming work.”

 

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