Home Sport Rugby Time for Fassi to prove himself on the big stage

Time for Fassi to prove himself on the big stage

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“It is a different feel and a different vibe because you have different countries against you and there are different expectations.”

Aphelele Fassi. Picture: Gavin Barker BackpagePix

The Sharks have long been known as a proving ground for rough diamonds to shine, From Lukhanyo Am, Sbu Nkosi, Curwin Bosch and Jeremy Ward to a host of other young stars, the Shark tank has proven to be a bit of an incubator for young talent.

Their latest star recruit must be Aphelele Fassi who, after a stellar SuperSport Rugby Challenge season, which led onto an outstanding Currie Cup campaign, has become a staple at the back for the Sharks in this seasons Super Rugby.

The youngster has been a valuable asset for the Sharks, often keeping out another youngster, but a more experienced option, in Curwin Bosch. Fassi admits that there is a step up for him coming into Super Rugby, but that he is managing it.

“Super Rugby is a challenge but with the squad that we have and the senior players guiding me and showing me the way It is a step up, but maybe not with physicality and speed but generally just playing New Zealand teams, and Australian teams, it is a step up when you play them compared to say the Currie Cup,” said the Sharks fullback.

“It is a different feel and a different vibe because you have different countries against you and there are different expectations.”

Fassi was forced to sit out of the Sharks’ game against the Bulls last time around, where they lost at Loftus, but he did get a taste of a true South African derby when the KZN team took on the Stormers the week before that.

“The Stormers, as a South African derby side, they are a quality team and they have a big pack. The South African derbies tend to be more physical than the other games in Super Rugby as they are almost better rivals, if I can put it that way. It is more physical when it comes to the South African derbies.”

It is the Bulls that the Sharks have to face again this week, and with Fassi looking in good form there is no reason to think he wont have a crack at the Pretoria outfit in this match at home. But, sitting at fullback, the youngster will hope that his forwards can do a better job at laying a platform for the backs to impress this time around.

It was a struggle for the Sharks last time in Pretoria as they were essentially bullied off the ball, but now, after a win against the Rebels, they have managed to get a lot of their confidence back.

Fassi is an attacking weapon, but in these types of South African derbies, more is needed than pure flair and X-factor, so this could be a good chance for the youngster to prove he has a well-rounded game.