Ahead of the resumption of domestic action this weekend, we look at where the Sharks squad currently stand ahead of the domestic season.
The Sharks have managed to maintain a good continuity in their squad between the halt of the regular season in mid-March and the upcoming resumption of the domestic season.
The obvious two big losses are Springboks Andre Esterhuizen and Makazole Mapimpi. Esterhuizen has departed permanently to Harlequins in the English Premiership, while Mapimpi joined the Red Hurricanes in Japan – coached by Johan Ackermann – on a loan deal, but will miss both Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup.
To the Sharks’ credit, there were other players who were attracting plenty of interest from overseas clubs – including prop Thomas du Toit, locks JJ van der Mescht and Ruben van Heerden, flyhalf Curwin Bosch, centre Lukhanyo Am and fullback Aphelele Fassi – particularly during the controversial 21-day transfer window in May, but all have stayed.
Other departures include workaholic lock/flank Tyler Paul, who did opt to cancel his contract during the window to move to Japan, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, who cancelled his contract on a mutual basis and has since joined the Newcastle Falcons, as well as Cameron Wright, Tera Mtembu, Andisa Ntsila and Juan Schoeman.
However, the Sharks have added a couple of big names to their squad and a couple of promising youngsters. The headline transfer was Manie Libbok from the Vodacom Bulls, who will add further depth at both flyhalf and fullback, particularly if Curwin Bosch gets a Springbok call-up for the Rugby Championship.
Sevens star Werner Kok has also arrived to bolster the Sharks’ midfield. Kok has previously played fifteens for both Toulouse and Western Province. 21-year-old scrumhalf Lucky Dlepu and 22-year-old hooker Dan Jooste have both joined from Western Province.
Sharks squad (subject to change)
Props: Thomas du Toit, Ox Nche, Mzamo Majola, Kutha Mchunu, John-Hubert Meyer, Michael Kumbirai, Hanru Jacobs.
Hookers: Kerron van Vuuren, Craig Burden, Fez Mbatha, Dylan Richardson, Dan Jooste, Cullen van der Merwe, Jacques Goosen.
Locks: Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Le Roux Roets, JJ van der Mescht, Emile van Heerden, Jordan Sesink-Clee.
Loose forwards: Sikhumbuzo Notshe, James Venter, Phendulani Buthelezi, Celimpilo Gumede, Evan Roos, Henco Venter, Zain Davids, Jordan Mountford, Tera Mtembu.
Scrumhalves: Sanele Nohamba, Jaden Hendrikse, Grant Williams, Lucky Dlepu.
Flyhalves: Curwin Bosch, Jordan Chait, Boeta Chamberlain, Manie Libbok.
Centres: Lukhanyo Am, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Werner Kok, Murray Koster, DJ Falconer, Rynhardt Jonker, JP Pietersen.
Wings: Sbu Nkosi, Madosh Tambwe, Lwazi Mvovo, Caleb Dingaan, Asanda Kunene, Anthony Volmink, Muller du Plessis.
Fullbacks: Aphelele Fassi (injured, four months), Thaakir Abrahams, Darren Hendricks.
Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix