Let’s have a bit of a closer look at the 28-man squad named to do battle for the Sharks in this year’s Currie Cup competition.
In the table below, we’ve summarised a few key facts and statistics about the team.
It’s a pretty interesting lineup, all right, with a fair bit of experience, but also lots of players who are new to this level of rugby. While Riaan Viljoen and Tim Whitehead have played plenty of Currie Cup rugby for other provinces, they’ve yet to do so for the Sharks. Others, such as Paul Jordaan, Rosco Speckman and Steph du Toit, have yet to play Currie Cup at all. Among the players who did appear last year, plenty have just a handful of caps between them, making the tasks of Currie Cup veterans like Jacques Botes, Steven Sykes, Meyer Bosman, Louis Ludik, Craig Burden and Odwa Ndungane all that much more important.
It’s interesting to note how few of the players have represented other teams in their career, making this probably the most “home grown” Currie Cup squad the Sharks have been able to name in quite a few years. 17 of the 28 players named have been produced by the Sharks Academy and have graduated to the Currie Cup squad via the Sharks junior teams.
The oldest player in the squad is Marius Joubert at 33, while Jacques Botes and Odwa Ndungane (both 31) are the other over-30s. Riaan Viljoen and Charl McLeod, at 29 years apiece, are the next oldest. Way down on the other side of the scale, young Steph is not even 20 yet, with Paul Jordaan and Francois Kleinhans joining him in still being below the age threshold to qualify for the under 21 side.
|Name||Age||Height||Weight||Nickname||School||CC Caps||SR Caps||Other Teams|
|Craig Burden||27||1.84||100||Bruce||Maritzburg College||59||37||-||-|
|Jandre Marais||23||1.98||116||-||Welkom Gim||10||8||-||t|
|Peet Marais||21||1.99||116||-||Welkom Gim||1||-||-||t|
|Pieter-Steph du Toit||19||2.00||114||Steph||Swartland||-||6||-||-|
|Jean Deysel||27||1.91||112||Wolla||Hentie Cilliers||39||43||Lions VC||-|
|Jacques Botes||31||1.82||99||Botesie||Potch Gim||100||105||Pumas CC||t|
|Charl McLeod||29||1.80||88||-||Wonderboom||37||42||Valke CC||-|
|Cobus Reinach||22||1.75||84||Stiffler||Grey Bloem||2||1||-||t|
|Conrad Hoffmann||24||1.81||86||Hoffies||Paarl BHS||10||11||Stormers SR||-|
|Riaan Viljoen||29||1.85||87||Tjop||Klerksdorp||-||12||Cheetahs SR||t|
|Tim Whitehead||24||1.87||95||-||Grey PE||-||15||Stormers SR||t|
|Paul Jordaan||20||1.80||94||Tollie||Grey Bloem||-||10||-||t|
|Marius Joubert||33||1.91||96||Juba||Paarl Gim||12||3||Stormers SR/Cheetahs SR||t|
|Meyer Bosman||27||1.92||100||-||Oakdale||12||34||Cheetahs SR||-|
|Odwa Ndungane||31||1.84||96||-||Hudson Park||58||82||Bulls SR||t|
|Rosco Speckman||23||1.76||85||Speckmagic||Mary Waters||-||-||-||t|
|Louis Ludik||25||1.83||92||Elle||EG Jansen||24||32||Lions SR||t|