The Sharks have recruited former All Blacks flyhalf and Lions assistant coach Carlos Spencer as they prepare for the upcoming Super Rugby season.
The former Blues playmaker served as John Mitchell’s assistant at the Lions where he had a big impact on the development of Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies, and after parting ways with the Johannesburg franchise he has linked up with the Sharks.
A mercurial pivot, Spencer played 93 times for Auckland during a purple period in the team’s history, also playing 35 times for New Zealand before embarking on a career in the Northern Hemisphere, making over 100 appearances for Northampton Saints.
“His experience as a player and the opportunity for us to use him – no one was – was great for us,” said Sharks coach John Plumtree.
“He loves his coaching and his knowledge of flyhalf and backline play is invaluable, he will also be looking at kicking skills, he was a great tactical kicker himself and he is really good at passing on his knowledge.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to use him here and it’s good for the players to have a change. Because he’s going to be here for a couple of weeks, he can enjoy himself and get to know the players which can only be of benefit for everyone.
“I was really impressed with what he did with Elton Jantjies,” added Plumtree.
Spencer said he was thrilled to be in Durban with the Sharks and looked forward to working with the team.
“I’m really looking forward to it; Plum [Plumtree] invited me to come here and spend a couple of weeks with the Sharks, obviously to have a look at Pat Lambie and a few of the other boys. I’m really happy to be here.
“The Sharks have always been a very competitive side, they’ve always been up there amongst the top teams, be it Currie Cup or Super Rugby. They’ve always had a very dominant forward pack and backed that up with some pretty skilful backs. They are always challenging for a top four spot and finals, they’re an exciting team to watch.
“They play a good brand of rugby, one I enjoy as well, being an attacking player.
“They came close last year and hopefully they can do it this year, I’m looking forward to it, to see how they go this year.”
Working primarily with the flyhalves, he will spend a lot of time with Lambie during his stay in Durban.
“I enjoyed my time with Elton, he’s an exciting and skilful player, Pat is built along the same lines. He’s one of those up and coming players with a lot of skill and one certainly for the future – both for the Sharks and South African rugby. I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time with him and hopefully I can share a few of my ideas with him and teach him a bit of stuff,” he added.