2018 Super Rugby Squads: Sharks
As I look back over my season previews of the last couple of Super seasons, I find one recurring theme. Every year we are told: “This is the year!” “This year the Sharks will do it!” “It’s the Sharks turn!”
And year after year, the Sharks make some teams sweat, others salivate, there is no consistency of performance. They will beat the Stormers, and then lose to the Kings……
Somebody called them: “The most successful team never to have won Super Rugby.”
The Sharks has been runners-up five times, losing semi-finalists four times and reached the quarterfinals on another two occasions.
So, what can we expect in 2018?
There have been some changes in the coaching squad. Robert du Preez is joined by former Sharks and Springbok assistant coach, Dick Muir, as well former Springbok flyhalf Braam van Straaten.
I remain very unsure of Muir’s influence at the top level of the game, he is notorious for playing talented youngsters out of position and re-treading them into utility backs without any specific specialisation. I will not bore you with the stories of Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn, Brent Russell, or playing Pat Lambie at outside centre or fullback. I simply wonder about the future of the likes of Curwin Bosch, Garth April, and Robert du Preez. Where will we see them playing this year?
The Sharks have lost some significant firepower in the off-season. Pat Lambie is playing for Racing 92, Cobus Reinach is playing his game for the Northampton Saints, Sbu Sithole is playing Pro 14 for the Kings, Etienne Oosthuizen is with Lyon, Jean Deysel has gone off to Ulster.
Add in the news that Coenie Oosthuizen is out with a long-term injury, as is new signing Louis Schreuder.
New signings include Robert du Preez, Ross Geldenhuys, Armand van der Merwe, and Leolin Zas.
Ruan Botha has been handed the captain’s armband for the season.
2018 Sharks Super Rugby Squad:
Forwards: Armand van der Merwe, Coenraad Oosthuizen, Mahlatse Ralepelle, Daniel du Preez, Franco Marais, Gideon Koegelenberg, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean Droste, Jean-Luc du Preez, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Keegan Daniel, Kerron van Vuuren, Khuta Mchunu, Lubabalo Mtembu, Mzamo Majola, Philip van der Walt, Ross Geldenhuys, Ruan Botha (c), Stephan Lewies, Tendai Mtawarira, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul, Wian Vosloo
Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Cameron Wright, Courtney Winnaar, Curwin Bosch, Garth April, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Jacobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Michael Claassens, Rhyno Smith, Robert du Preez, Sibusiso Nkosi, Tristan Blewett
Robert du Preez (Stormers)
Ross Geldenhuys (Kings)
Gideon Koegelenberg (Zebre)
Makazole Mapimpi (Cheetahs)
Tyler Paul (Kings)
Louis Schreuder (Kings)
Akker van der Merwe (Lions)
Cameron Wright (Montpellier)
Leolin Zas (Stormers)
Lourens Adriaanse (Pau)
Stephan Coetzee (Kings)
Jean Deysel (Ulster)
Rowan Gouws (Kings)
Francois Kleynhans (Pumas)
Pat Lambie (Racing 92)
Khaya Majola (Kings)
Odwa Ndungane (retired)
Etienne Oosthuizen (Lyon)
Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints)
S’bura Sithole (Kings)
Hanco Venter (released)