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WARD CALLING THE SHOTS

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The centre says that he is enjoying the leadership role that seems to be forming for him and admits that his finding his voice more and more on the field

Jeremy Ward of the Cell C Sharks says hes enjoying his leadership role in the backline.

The Tafel Lager Griquas could be consoling themselves with the fact that the Sharks have a young and inexperienced backline doing the business for them; however, the KZN team can rest easy knowing that they have a born leader who is finding his voice in the centres.

Jeremy Ward has already led his country at the Under-20 level and is now finding himself a leader in the Sharks’ backs.

The confident 21-year-old seems to ooze the qualities of a captain. It is clear and obvious on the field, if watched closely, as Ward goes about reassuring and congratulating all, from the props after a heavy scrum, to a brilliantly taken high ball at the back.

Furthermore, Ward is incredibly well-spoken off the field, and that seems to be one of his strengths as he admits he is finding his voice more and more on the field.

With not many players over the age of 25 in the Sharks’ backline, and not many experienced in leadership roles, the centre says that he is enjoying the leadership position that seems to be forming for him.

“I have certainly taken up a big voice in the backline,” Ward gleamed.

“The guys around me need a voice and I am happy to take on that role, and it is something I enjoy doing; it is something I have done in the past.

“In a young backline I am really enjoying speaking more, taking charge, and calling plays.”

This Currie Cup season has really seen Ward come into his own as during Super Rugby he was used more as an impact player off the bench as André Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am partnered up.

However, barring injuries, Ward has had a solid run in the midfield alongside Am – who is very happy switching roles in the midfield with the former Baby Bok captain. This is also a contributing factor as to Ward’s growth as a leader.

“The more we get used to one another, the more you get used to how the guys play and what makes them tick, and what makes them respond to you,” Ward explained. “I think the longer we play together the better we will get.”

Ward, however, may well find himself with a new centre pairing this week for the Griquas as Am injured his knee and ankle last week against the Pumas. The extent of the injury is uncertain, but regardless, the management feel the Bok tourist needs a rest – be it injury enforced or not.

Marius Louw is the obvious candidate to come in to the no 12 jersey as he has had a couple smart showings off the bench and was a star in the SuperSport Challenge earlier in the year.

DARRYN POLLOCK