Jan 20, 2014
Sharks' McLeod excited by Allianz Park test
After delivering a fantastic showing in the 2013 Absa Currie Cup Final - scoring both of his team’s tries - when the Cell C Sharks defeated Western Province at Newlands, scrumhalf Charl McLeod is looking forward beginning the 2014 season this weekend, when he faces Premiership leaders Saracens at Allianz Park.
The Sharks pre-season programme is a very busy one and he admits that training is going very well, although now is the toughest part of the year as they look to build their base from which to launch.
“We’ve been working extremely hard but everyone has reacted well and we’re doing well.”
He admits that, like his team-mates, this preseason friendly match offers many attraction. “Saracens are a very good team, top of the Aviva Premiership log at the moment, playing some great rugby in the Premiership and Heineken Cup and they’ve been performing for the last few years in fact, playing consistently well, so we’re looking forward to the game immensely.
“They’re in the middle of their season and with that carry some momentum into this match, whereas it will be our first game. But we’ll pitch up for the game in the right frame of mind and hopefully give them a good run.
“Although the pressure is not the same as it is in a league game, we’ll come into this match looking to give it our all. For us, it’s important to get our structures right in this game, there is a lot of new stuff we’re doing. We also need to settle into our new way of playing as quickly as possible and see how it works for us.”
And the whole North vs South appeal of the Sanlam Private Investments Shield?
“It is difficult to compare, because they are in the middle of their season and for us, this is our first game" he points out.
“But it is still a great opportunity to play against such a good side. We’re looking forward to it and to meeting up with the South Africans in their side as well.”