Despite Curwin Bosch having been ‘locked and reloaded’ at the Sharks until 2023, tantalising rumours have linked the Springbok flyhalf with a move to the Stormers. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
On Monday, the Sharks confirmed the signing of Bongi Mbonambi, while flyhalf Lionel Cronje and prop Khutha Mchunu returned to training in Durban and the recruitment of Zimbabwean-born Tinotenda Mavesere was also confirmed.
It all forms part of a plan to add depth to a squad that has recently been depleted by nine Sharks players being named in the expanded Springbok squad for the British & Irish Lions series and Georgia internationals, while five Sharks youngsters have been included in the Junior Springboks squad for an upcoming U20 international series.
Boosted by the financial backing of investment partners MVM Holdings, the Sharks have begun to add layers to their squad in anticipation of the double-round Currie Cup that commences on the weekend of 18-19 June. In September, the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Lions will also head into PRO16 action.
In recent weeks, the Sharks have reignited their ‘locked and reloaded’ campaign with the likes of Fez Mbatha, Phephsi Buthelezi, Henco Venter, Jaden Hendrikse, Dylan Richardson and others signing contract extensions.
In August last year, it was also confirmed that Bosch had been ‘locked down’ until 2023 and, particularly in that context, it has been puzzling to have had ‘strong’ rumours confirmed by a couple of reliable sources in the Cape to suggest there have been feelers put out in the direction of the Stormers.
The Stormers have been looking at the option of bringing another flyhalf to the Cape, with more depth and experience required in this all-important position that has been a bit problematic for some time.
It remains to be seen whether anything will come of the Bosch rumours, especially considering that a secure, long-term Sharks contract extension was agreed to less than a year ago.
Ironically, it’s also not the first time such reports have emerged. Bosch was linked to the Stormers in April 2019.
Meanwhile, the Sharks have otherwise been boosted by the return of Cronje from Japan, with the 32-year-old journeyman having been a steady performer for Toyota Verblitz in recent seasons.
Mchunu returns from his loan spell at the Cheetahs, while UWC Varsity Cup star Mavesere will soon head to Durban once he finishes up duties with the Zimbabwe Sables.
According to Rapport, Tuks prop Etienne Janeke will also add further options up front, interestingly along with far more experienced Lourens Adriaans, who would be another returnee to the Shark Tank.
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