• Claassens, Deysel sign for Sharks

    The Sharks have completed the signings of flank Jean Deysel and scrumhalf Michael Claassens ahead of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

    Deysel has spent the past six months playing for the Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese Top League after leaving the Sharks following last season's Super Rugby campaign.

    However, he will make a surprise return to the union where he spent six years, as the Sharks look to bolster their loose forward ranks ahead of the new season.

    With Tera Mtembu and Etienne Oosthuizen limping off against Toulon and Willem Alberts still finding his way back to fitness, Deysel's arrival is perfectly timed ahead of their opener against the Cheetahs at the weekend.

    The Sharks have also announced the signing of Claassens, who currently plays for Toulon in the French Top 14. The South African-born scrumhalf has signed a two-year deal and will join the squad once his playing commitments in France have concluded.

    CEO John Smit was pleased to welcome Deysel back to Kings Park, just months after his departure.

    'We all knew it was a tough decision for Jean to make when he departed last year, as his heart has always been with the Sharks,' said Smit. 'We were very sad to lose a player of his calibre and you can imagine our delight that this loyal servant of Sharks rugby has agreed to return home.

    'Aside from his playing attributes, he also brings experience and strong leadership to the team environment, which is of great benefit.

    'Michael is an experienced scrumhalf who will add great value and depth to our squad as well as mentor our very talented young scrumhalves.'

    Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images