Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Former England international Andy Goode had his services called upon by the Sharks recently for their away leg of the Super 14. Goode is on loan with the Durban based side and made his debut against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.
Goode left Brive in the Top 14 after three years living in France. He will make the move back to England to play for Worcester in the Guinness Premiership, but answered the Sharks' call when they had flyhalf troubles ahead of their tour.
Argentinian import Juan Martin Hernandez is back home as he picked up a bad injury, and
Steve Meyer, who flew in from Perpignan, retired mysteriously a few days before the first match.
"In my wildest dream, I never imagined taking part in a Super 14 match in Christchurch," Goode said. "What an amazing opportunity for a northern hemisphere player.
"Just before I left to come here, my good mate Geordan Murphy, the Ireland fullback said he would give his right arm to play in this competition and here I am," he added.
Goode may only travel with the side as he apparently has visa issues, and even if he gets that sorted out, it will be interesting to see if he slots into life in the high tempo Super 14.
"I am absolutely gobsmacked that the Sharks have bought him, former Springbok and Leicester flyhalf Joel Stransky said of the signing.
"Ive played with Andy and coached him at Leicester. Hes a good guy, and was a good club player in England at a point in his career, but hes no better than any young talent in the country.
"With all due respect to Rudolf Straeuli and John Plumtree, the move smacks of desperation. If Andy struggled in France and never set the world alight in England, the pace of Super 14 rugby will be too much for him. I think hell struggle and will find it difficult to adapt to the intensity of Super Rugby," he added.
With Ruan Pienaar available as first choice number 10, it's likely that Goode will play off the bench, as he did on the weekend for his debut. He came on in the sixty third minute, missed one tackle and made a few decent passes, then in the seventy third he high tackled Dan Carter and was yellow carded.
It wasn't a great debut by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm sure there's a whole lot of you that are interested to see how he progresses, so we'll do our best on here to keep you informed.
Should the Sharks have gone for homegrown talent rather, or could this move bring the best out of a flyhalf who has played 17 times for his country?