Posted on: Fri 31 Jan 2014

Five members of the Natal Sharks rugby union team paid a visit to our training ground before their recent friendly game with Saracens.

The South African side, based in Durban, are currently in pre-season training and travelled to England to play at Saracens' stadium in north London. They were given a tour of our training facility in Surrey before watching the first team squad put through their paces by manager Jose Mourinho.

They had the opportunity to meet the footballers afterwards, swapping stories about their respective sports. It was a particularly special occasion for the Sharks winger Odwa Ndungane.

'I've been a Chelsea supporter as long as I can remember,' he explained. 'I'm a big football fan in general and when I started watching the Premier League I just took a liking to Chelsea. My favourite players back then were Marcel Desailly and then Claude Makelele, I loved watching them play.

'I'm also a big fan of Jose Mourinho. I remember when he was here the first time and won the league so it was nice seeing the Special One walk out to training.'

Asked if any of our players would make a smooth transition to rugby union, Ndungane picked out a certain Serbian full-back.

'We were actually discussing this. The players look much bigger on TV than they are in real life. Having said that, I saw Ivanovic walk out to training and he looks solid! I guess the players must do more cardio work than stuff with weights in the gym.'

The Sharks returned to their more natural habitat but lost 23-15 to Saracens in a tightly-fought game, before returning to South Africa to finalise their pre-season preparations before the start of their league campaign in two weeks' time.