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Sharks “player exodus” talk overblown

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 10 Jul 2013 at 10:58
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod seems to have caused a bit of a stir yesterday when something he said to Rugby365 led to widespread talk of a Sharks exodus at the end of this year’s Super Rugby tournament. While it’s true that a number of players and coaches will be leaving, it’s hardly as bad as McLeod’s words make it sound.

“It’s happening, it’s a reality that there’s a lot of guys leaving the union and the coaches leaving the union as well, ” he apparently says, leading to wild speculation about mass migration of everyone from the cleaning staff up. The reality, though, is that we have already shared details of all known players movements, whether confirmed or not and will do so once again here to “settle everyone’s nerves” further.

It remains a source of mild irritation that the Sharks themselves refuse to comment on any of these movements, opting to rather fuel the rumours by consistently and persistently ignoring requests for clarification. We can only hope that the new CEO will shortly take matters in hand an ensure a better and more timely flow of accurate information from the union itself to the media, to avoid the sort of panic that a throw-away quote like this can cause.

Starting with coaches, we have of course already confirmed that none of the three Super Rugby coaches from this year will be involved going forward. That means that John Plumtree (who has already left), Grant Bashford and Hugh Reece-Edwards will all be moving on. It is all-but confirmed that Brad Macleod-Henderson, Sean Everitt and Paul Anthony will move in to replace them, with the existing junior team coaches such as Ettiene Fynn, Deon Keyser, Sean Erasmus and the likes set to continue as well.

In terms of player departures, we have also confirmed that Jandre Marais and Meyer Bosman will leave to play in France after Super Rugby, with Riaan Viljoen also leaving to play in Japan. JP Pietersen and Ryan Kankowski will play out the Currie Cup season in Japan, but both will return to the Sharks for Super Rugby next year. Louis Ludik is another who is likely to leave for France, but he will certainly still be around for the Currie Cup. Gouws Prinsloo, as also reported already, has been released to Griquas.

A number of players are still involved in negotiation with the Sharks re contract renewals; key among them Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis and Pieter-Steph du Toit. While it is to be expected that there will be widespread interest in these players, the Sharks are, we understand, working hard to retain their services. We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we hear anything concrete either way.


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