We’ve known about this for some time, but the Sharks today confirmed that big Albert van den Berg will see out his career playing for Canon in Japan.
The 2.01m second rower will call time on a Sharks career that has seen him amass a record 171 caps across the Currie Cup and Super rugby competitions. Bert from the Mountain, or “spinnekop” to his team mates, moved to the Sharks from Griquas in 1999, having made both his Super 12 and Springboks debuts that year. He went on to represent the Sharks 95 times in the Super 12 and Super 14 as well as representing the Springboks an amazing 51 times.
Career highlights include, inter alia, representing the Boks at the 2007 World Cup and scoring the try that should have won the 2007 Super 14 final for the Sharks. Always a player for the big games and able to do something miraculous in the dying seconds, Sharks fans will miss the sight of Albert’s long arms forcing an unlikely turnover 5 metres from the line, or galloping 80 metres to score a cheeky intercept try.
Sharks CEO Brain van Zyl had the following to say: ““We would like to wish Albert and his family the very best for the future. His humble and calm manner has had a great influence on the players around him. On behalf of everyone at The Sharks, I want to thank him for his massive contribution to our rugby, our brand and province throughout his playing career.”
Having just turned 36, it’s unfortunate that Albert won’t be given the chance to challenge Johan Ackermann’s record for the oldest player to play Super rugby. I’m sure you’ll all join me in saying a big three cheers to a true Sharks stalwart, whose like we won’t see again in a hurry. Sayonara, Albert-san and domo arigato for all the wonderful Sharks memories.Tweet