Sharks

Is Jacobs Plumtree’s perfect 10

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John Plumtree, all out of options at fly-half for the upcoming Currie Cup competition, may well take the desperate step of starting with utility back Adrian Jacobs in the number 10 jersey.

“Someone has to fill the position,” Plumtree said in an interview, as he discussed his options for his first campaign as a Sharks head coach.

Plumtree, who was appointed for the Currie Cup season after Dick Muir opted to take a backseat, revealed that there will be “trials” next week to find his perfect number 10.

“Who actually lands up at fly-half may be a bit of a surprise though, we are conducting a kind of semi-trial on Tuesday for the position.

“We will be giving the youngsters a chance … along with Adi Jacobs and Brad Barritt,” Plumtree added.

While, at first glance, in could be considered a radical move, Jacobs is not unfamiliar with pivotal responsibilities.

He took up the kicking duties for the Falcons in 2003, while playing at centre and also ended the season as their top try scorer.

Jacobs won’t be the first player to make the transition from centre to fly-half.

International stars such as Aaron Mauger, Matt Giteau and Luke McAlister all migrate between the midfield and fly-half on a regular basis – while in South Africa players like Hennie le Roux and Braam van Straaten filled that utility role in the past with great success.

The other option for Plumtree would be Brad Barritt, who played in the number 10 jersey during the Currie Cup last year, but has really come into his own after he moved to centre.

Plumtree admitted that the kicking game for the sharks may be weaker in the Currie Cup, but if Jacobs can find the kicking form he showed for the Falcons he may just be the answer to the problem.

Should Jacobs kicking not prove sufficient, Plumtree’s next option could be Barritt stepping – which could see the Sharks lean more towards a running game.

Whatever happens, the Sharks difficulties in the fly-half department mean they have a chance to fully test the depth of their backline talent and will afford players such as the Noble brothers, Howard and Dusty, along with Sangoni Mxoli and Odwa Ndungane a chance to really shine.

By Gareth Green 365 Digital

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