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Super season awaits


Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Jan 2014 at 10:30
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The 2014 Super Rugby season will probably be the most anticipated season for Sharks fans to date. After a very disappointing 2013 Super Rugby campaign, where the Sharks ended mid-table, they finished 2013 as Currie Cup Champions, after defeating Western Province at Newlands in the final, 33 – 19.

A lot has changed at Sharks Rugby HQ since the start of their 2013 campaign. Former Springbok and Sharks captain John Smit was appointed CEO, followed by the announcement of his former Springbok World Cup Winning Coach, Jake White, as Director of Rugby (taking over from Brendan Venter). Venter did an enormous job with the team to change the culture at the Sharks and to finish the year off in a special way.

Regarding player movements, they will be welcoming back some familiar faces to Kings Park, as JP Pietersen and Ryan Kankowski make a welcome return to Super Rugby. Players like Paul Jordaan, Tim Whitehead and Francios Steyn should be over their injuries and fit for the start of the season, with Anton Bresler also due to return before too long. They have managed to secure the signatures of players like Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lwazi Mvovo and Patrick Lambie as they extended their stay at the Sharks.

Some new signings include former Southern Kings fullback, SP Marais, who played a big role towards the end of the season, former Western Province u21 player, Tim Swiel and former Cheetahs Super Rugby player, Lourens Adriaanse. Adriaanse will be joining an already impressive all-Springbok front row, as he also made his debut for the Springboks during their EOY tour. Etienne Oosthuizen and Marco Wentzel will also be joining and adding depth in the middle of the scrum. The 21 year old Oosthuizen played Super Rugby for the Lions in 2012 and the Brumbies in 2013, with the more experienced Wentzel starting his rugby career in 1999 at the Eagles and more recently finished a 3 year run at Wasps.

In preparing for their 2014 Super Rugby campaign, the Sharks have announced a warm-up match against English Club Saracens, on the 25th of January. They will be up against a few familiar faces, among them will be former Sharks team mates Alistair Hargreaves and Bradley Barritt.

The Sharks first Super Rugby match will be against the Bulls at Kings Park on the 15th of February at 19:10.



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