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Jake forges new club links


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 5 Feb 2014 at 12:14
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

In an interesting article on the KZN Club Rugby site, new Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has revealed more of the thinking behind yesterday’s club day, where members of the Sharks Super Rugby squad wore their respective club strips to training.

White, as a stickler for tradition, is keen to reforge the links between amateur and professional rugby in the province by ensuring that the Sharks, through their players, become more involved in grass roots club activities. By leveraging the best assets that Sharks have – namely those household names who play for the senior team in Super Rugby – white seems to have a twofold plan; firstly to improve the standard and competitiveness of the game at club level and secondly to drastically increase interest and support through the regular appearance of those top players at club functions.

It has all started with a re-balancing of assets, for want of a better term. White has pointed at a lopsided system in which the vast majority of Sharks players would belong to just one or two clubs, with College Rovers, of course, the clear success story on the local club scene, one of those “strong clubs” to boast an over-allocation of Sharks players. Never shy to ruffle a few feathers, White and the Sharks have redistributed their core of contracted players across the club landscape, moving a player like Ryan Kankowski, for instance, to Amanzimtoti from Rovers and the likes of Lwazi Mvovo and Wiehahn Herbst from Varsity College to struggling Maritzburg Collegians.

White’s goal is that all his players, when not required by the Sharks, will do as much as they can for their clubs and will even play for their club teams when possible, something that very few professional rugby players will have done in a long, long time. With Vodacom Cup set to conclude in May this year, while Super Rugby continues for a good few months after that, it’s likely that the local club scene will see a strong injection of contracted Sharks players later in the year, which can only be good for the game in KZN. The fact that these players won’t all be going to Rovers or Durban Collegians will add further spice.

Here are the new allocations of players to clubs:

Jonsson College Rovers (7)
Mtawarira Tendai
Cooper Kyle
Bresler Anton
du Toit Pieter-Steph
Daniel Keegan
Downey Justin
Lambie Patrick

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (8)
Marais Peet
Coetzee Marcell
Alberts Willem
Zeilinga Fred
Williams Heimar
Steyn Francois
Reinach Cobus
Kleinhans Francois

Marshall Security Crusaders (7)
Deysel Jean
Chavanga Tonderai
Wentzel Marco
Meyer Johan
du Plessis Jannie
du Plessis Bismarck
Marais SP

Rhinos (4)
Mienie Danie
Hewitt Edwin
Hay Wiehan
Pietersen JP

Varsity College RFC (7)
Jordaan Paul
Ndungane Odwa
Botes Jacques
Maseko Sizo
Marais Franco
McLeod Charl
Esterhuizen Andre

Amanzimtoti Rugby Club (7)
Hadebe Monde
Lewies Stephan
Kankowski Ryan
Mthembu Lubabalo
Fisher Tyler
Graaff Hansie
Adriaanse Lourens

UKZN Impi (7)
Sithole S’bura
Swiel Tim
Whitehead Tim
Oosthuizen Etienne
Venter Hanco
Meikle Gareth
van Schalkwyk Stefan

PMB Collegians (5)
Chadwick Dale
Ungerer Stefan
Mvovo Lwazi
Herbst Wiehahn
van Tonder Jaco



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