The Sharks look to have bolstered their ranks with the acquisition of two promising players from smaller unions. Note that this is all subject to confirmation, but it appears as though Len Olivier and Lionel Cornelius will both play for the Sharks in 2009.
Rumours that Valke pivot Olivier may be on his way to Durban surfaced a few weeks ago, when the de facto Valke website, SupaRugby, mentioned that the former Affies boy was weighing up offers from both the Sharks and French outfit Aurilliac. A snippet in Sunday’s Rapport would seem to indicate that the Sharks have won the race. I’ve sent messages to both Len himself and the journalist who wrote the story, so we’ll definitely update you if we get confirmation of this story.
The 22-year-old Olivier has shone playing at flyhalf for the unfancied East Rand side this year and appears to have a good mix of kicking and running skills, just what one needs in a modern pivot.
Boland centre-cum-flyhalf Lionel Cornelius is another 22-year-old who has shone despite playing for an outclassed team for much of the season. Cornelius looked particularly good when Boland ran the Sharks close at Kings Park earlier this season and combines incisive running with an accurate boot. He reminds me of a young Adi Jacobs and we can only hope that he continues to develop in a similar vein.
The Cornelius signing was also mentioned as an aside in a Rapport article, so we will provide confirmation as soon as we can.
Update: I’ve confirmed both of these rumours and am convinced they’re legit. Thanks to Rapport for their co-operation in this regard.Tweet