Coetzee itching to play Currie Cup rugby for Sharks

Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee says that he is itching to play Currie Cup rugby having sat on the sidelines with the Springboks over the last month.

“It’s nice resting and everything, but after a while you do get over it and just want to be back on the park, putting your body on the line again,” Coetzee, one of four national players released from the Rugby Championship squad, said in Durban on Tuesday.

His last taste of competitive action involved playing for the Sharks against the Southern Kings at the end of the Super Rugby season.

“I had an awesome time with the Boks. Even though I was not playing, I was gaining a lot of experience. But now I’m back here and it’s great to be back at training with my province and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

The 22-year-old started 15 out of 16 games for the Sharks during Super Rugby, but has been a spectator in Heyneke Meyer’s side in recent Tests, with his last international outing against Scotland on June 15.

He featured in all six games against New Zealand, Australia and Argentina last year.

“I’ve spoken with Heyneke and I am part of his plans,” Coetzee said.

“He’s just looking to build a lot of experience towards the World Cup, and give the youngsters and others a chance.”

Coetzee has already been told he would start against the Free State Cheetahs at Kings Park this weekend.

The Sharks are second on the Currie Cup log, one point adrift of leaders Western Province and three clear of the Cheetahs, with four regular season games remaining. Over the weekend, they pulled off a battling 25-24 win over Griquas in Kimberley.

“I think the boys (the Sharks) have been doing very well this season,” Coetzee said.

“You can see the work rate on the field. I’m just here at training and I’m already breathing my lungs out.”

The Sharks confirmed on Tuesday that Jacques Botes, who has been captaining the side this season will be rested, with Keegan Daniel taking over the armband.

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