Barritt back with Sharks

Former centre returns to Sharks from Saracens

Last Updated: 06/05/09 12:22pm

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Barritt: Sharks return

Barritt: Sharks return

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The Sharks have recalled Brad Barritt from Saracens to bolster their bid to make the Super 14 play-offs.

Their former centre returned from the Guinness Premiership outfit after the fourth-placed Sharks lost Frans Steyn to a medial meniscus injury which could keep him out for six weeks.

Barritt's contract with Saracens was structured to allow the 22-year-old to return to play for the Sharks should they need him and his commitments with the club allowed it.

Assistant coach Grant Bashford told the Sharks' official website that Barritt arrived back in South Africa on Tuesday morning and he trained with the squad later that day.

Experience

"It's very good to have him back, he's part of the family. He adds experience and comes at a good time for us," said Bashford, who added Barritt would be available for selection for this weekend's Super 14 match against the Waratahs at The Absa Stadium.

"He's played a lot of rugby so there are no fitness issues with him. Although we haven't discussed selection, we will chat to him, see how he trains and make a decision."

Bashford added the Sharks would have Barritt for the rest of the Super 14.

"He will be with us for the remainder of the tournament," he said.

Barritt himself said after his first training session that he hadn't expected to be back playing for the Super 14 outfit quite so soon.

"Yes, it is a bit of a surprise to be coming back and it's great to be involved with the team," he said.

"They're doing awesomely and it's nice to be involved towards the latter part of the competition.

Better position

"I think I am in a lot better position than if I were a total outsider, a lot of the moves and phase play are similar to what we did in the past so I'm hoping just to fit in nicely.

"I think the skills I've learned and acquired over the last few months with Saracens have been really good for me.

"I've learned a different style of play, the focus is on natural support and natural running lines, so in that regard I am hoping I can bring a bit of that to the Sharks."

He added: "I've been working a lot with Dave Alred (who is widely regarded as the world's leading kicking coach in rugby), which has helped a lot and getting exposure playing at 13 has helped as well with defensive and attacking lines, it's been a great experience."

A further boost for the Sharks is that Adrian Jacobs - who ran at training on Monday and Tuesday - could make his return sooner than initially thought, although Bashford remained cautious.

"We will treat his case conservatively," he said. "Hopefully he will come through without needing an operation and is potentially available for selection this weekend, but we will be cautious with him."

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