robdylan

Talking to Teich


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 14 Oct 2016 at 14:57
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He’s been in one of the hottest seats anywhere in SA rugby (that of Sharks CEO) for a little over two months, but Gary Teichmann has clearly already done a huge amount of work that will hopefully bear fruit for the franchise in years to come. I was incredibly fortunate to catch up with the former Bok captain for an in depth chat this week, courtesy of Novashni Chetty and the Sharks PR department.

So how do you start a conversation with a person you’ve idolised since the day you first starting watching this game and this great team? They say you should never meet your heroes, because you’re bound to be disappointed, but in this case, I certainly wasn’t. Teichmann plays the boardroom game, I feel, very much in the same way he played between the white lines; with forthright honesty and an acknowledgement that success comes through hard graft, rather than shortcuts. As the first to admit that he doesn’t have all the answers and still has a lot to learn, given how much the game has changed since his playing days, Teichmann isn’t the sort of guy to fall back on platitudes or bluster – or to paint a picture that is any rosier than reality.

We all know what that reality is – the Sharks are nowhere near where they need to be, either in terms of overall financial health or (more importantly) on-field performance. It’s Gary Teichmann’s job to fix that and it’s a job that he is taking very seriously indeed.

We started off talking about fans – or at least, the slice of the fan base that spends its time here – and the expectations they have for the team. “We need to have high expectations and high standards – always,” agrees the CEO. “If we start to accept mediocrity in what we do, then we’ll never reach our potential. Those expectations, though, come associated with a timeline and we need to remember that success doesn’t come overnight.” The inference is that there have been a number of attempts at “quick fixes” over the past few years, but what’s needed now is a proper plan, involving the right people doing the right things, with the right governance and KPI’s in place to ensure progress and success. If it all sounds very businesslike, well, that’s what it is and it’s what you get when you hire a CEO who has real experience in running a business and getting the fundamentals right.

But this is not just an ordinary business; this is a rugby franchise and it’s the Sharks, something that is as important to – and as much of a passion for – Teichmann as it is for you and me. “I’m very keen to get the culture right,” he tells me, “and to bring the team closer to the community again. That’s an area I feel we’ve fallen down on. For instance, I recently asked some of the guys I played with, the likes of Mark Andrews, Steve Atherton, John Allan, to come and talk to the current squad about what it meant to them to play for this team. Those are guys who spent ten years playing here and they have a lot of insight to share with this current squad, many of whom have only been here a year or two.”

Getting players to commit – to buy into the culture he envisages and see out the bulk of their careers at the Sharks – seems to be a key tenet of Teichmann’s strategy, but it’s one that he acknowledges is ridiculously hard in the current climate. “Some of those issues are outside of our control,” he concedes. “We need these things to be looked at centrally.” The fact that SA Rugby is, in his words, “trying to feed too many mouths” is a factor in the difficulty local unions face when it comes to competing with big-money foreign offers. He does believe, though, that there are things that can be done and that he can make the Sharks an attractive place for players to play – and stay – by focusing on the whole person, rather just the rugby player and also establishing those community links. Concentrating on forming a good relationship with talented players from their school days and fostering a deep love for the Sharks is a part of that strategy too and Teichmann tells me he is investing in strengthening the way the Sharks scout for that junior talent and develop those relationships early on.

In the meantime, though, the Sharks need to get back to winning ways and Teichmann shares our disappointment at how the current Currie Cup campaign unfolded. “Maybe, in hindsight, we got a little ahead of ourselves,” he adds, “given just how young our backs were. We all looked at that forward pack and thought we must surely win this thing, but I think that the games we did lose, we did so because of a lack of experience at the back and too many errors.” He does point at the progress in terms of a ball-in-hand game, though and looks at that as a sign of good things to come. “You’ve got to remember that we played very conservatively in Super Rugby, so this was really the first campaign that the guys were training for this type of approach. It will take some time to come right – after all, you’ll play the way you trains”

Super Rugby is around the corner and plans are in motion. The CEO assures me that there is a player budget available and that announcements will be made within a month regarding signings as well as coaching structures. Things, in other words, are certainly not standing still and I, for one, feel rather confident that Teichmann’s furious work behind the scenes will pay off sooner rather than later.

Welcome back to Kings Park, Gary Teichmann! We’re all looking forward to seeing what you can do.



76 Comments

  • Thanx Rob! Very interesting indeed and glad to hear Sharks will be adding some much needed depth whilst still working to improve the overall wellbeing of the finances of the Union!

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.10.16 15:04:34 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 1) : look, one thing Teichmann is not going to do is throw money at unsuitable players as a “quick fix”. I guess you could say the same about unsuitable coaches. Plenty of that going on.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.10.16 15:08:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • Thanks Rob, havent read it yet but will soon. Almost thought you forgot.

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.10.16 15:17:45 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Thanks for that Rob. I appreciate that as a fan. Finally being included and told there is a plan is already making me feel good for sticking by my province, my franchise and my home town albeit I live damn far away. He too was a hero of mine and I wish him all the best in the role. So glad to read this when I am not even looking forward to rugby this weekend.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.10.16 15:18:58 by Sharkfinn Reply

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  • Top stuff Rob, thanks! I am feeling optimistic about the future with Teich here. He will probably be as close as one can get to a a proper CEO, with rugby background AND Natal in his veins. Not much of those around.
    @robdylan (Comment 2) : Which probably rubbishes the Clément Poitrenaud rumour right there.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.10.16 15:22:05 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : yes building for the future is good as long as there’s progress. Sharks have been marching on the same spot for a while now by getting in “special” players for only 6 months to a year. Time to stop this and invest in the youngsters even if it results in Sharks having a “not so super” Super rugby 2017. For this reason I’d prefer the Sharks to stick with Bosch and Smith and not get Poitrenaud as a player.

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.10.16 15:37:59 by JD Reply
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  • Awesome interview Rob. Pretty sweet birthday huh??
    Anyway I really like what I’m reading here from Teich.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.10.16 15:41:41 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 6) : IF this guy is coming Im sure it would be on a player mentor role. Having guys with massive experience is vital in helping talented young players become legends.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.10.16 15:52:44 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 8) : personally I’d like him to mentor rather than play but we must trust Teich and co to do what’s best for Sharks rugby so will not complain about him before he plays (that is if he even comes to Durbs).

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.10.16 15:58:27 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 9) : Yeah I have total trust in Teich and that he’s looking at the big picture. If a foreign test veteran is coming in, then it will be for the betterment of the youngsters, and not a short term quick fix.

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.10.16 16:08:21 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 10) : ja same here although I’m sure we said the same things about JS when he arrived!?

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.10.16 16:16:07 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 11) : I did and I was wrong.

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.10.16 16:21:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 11) : Yup I certainly did.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.10.16 16:30:01 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : @gregkaos (Comment 13) : Rob let’s be honest 99% of us did!
    I might be naive but I believe the decisions he made was him believing that it will improve things as I really can’t see him as a person that would go out with the idea of screwing the Sharks. Hindsight is perfect and ja a lot of the decisions did not work out but still I wish him well for the future and once again believe that the next guy (Teich) will do his best to solve very difficult problems that I think most of us would ourselves have no idea how to solve!
    Go Sharks and long live Teich!!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.10.16 16:57:00 by JD Reply
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  • Now this is the right guy.

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.10.16 17:32:00 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : I was just thinking about something you said about “trying to feed too many mouths” and that the Sharks are on the right path.

    @JD (Comment 14) : Yeah I also think that back then when JS took over Sharks were actually in a good spot. Culture, style, etc, just no SR trophy. Since then it kinda feels like the only goal was SR glory.

    While Teich has an insanely tough job ahead, one factor that might work in his favour is that the Sharks are in a bad spot right now. Rebuilding and something that is broken and getting it steered towards a bigger picture is easier and with the right guy in charge can become something special. Plenty of examples out there where a company has been close to death when a strong, professional CEO comes in and makes it great.

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.10.16 17:42:43 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 16) : yes but turning a “big ship” like the Sharks is also not easy and will need hard work and reading the article Teich luckily knows this and is willing to put in the hard work. Just hope the mess that is SARU does not drain him of this will to work and improve the Sharks!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.10.16 17:56:26 by JD Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : this oke knows what he’s talking about

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.10.16 19:15:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good to have you here Gary! Good luck and all the best…
    This bloke was always one of my favourites. In the words he used so often: “I’m chuffed…”

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.10.16 21:08:35 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 15) : Yay! Let’s hope everyone has enough patience to grant him the timeline he was talking about…

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.10.16 21:09:36 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I think Teichman is on the money with the culture and honour thing. We had a bunch of no names playing their hearts out for the honour of being part of the sharks. They did much better than the stars who see it only as a paycheck.

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.10.16 21:33:44 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Culture wide when it was time to get fit and we all know the ABs biggest forte is their conditioning..so when Jake pushed the old guard with Bizzie and Janne etc they went virtually on strike and remember how kak the team got with the revolt. Culture which Teich is talking about requires a special commitment from the players too. Get Stefan Terblanche to get them fit…that oke was always super fit.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.10.16 22:54:30 by Sharkfinn Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Nice article, seems like a good guy who cares deeply about Sharks culture. Just one little moan from me and then I will try be positive all the time, I harped on and on about certain backline players not being ready for this level, just yet. He is saying in hindsight, surely at practice etc they should have picked this up? Anyway, that is my only concern and I just hope we select players who are ready for Super Rugby and can take the step up – I do not want to hear anything more about building, we need to hit the Super Season up and running. The Bulls, Province, Cheetahs and Lions all have young squads, but they pick players who are up for the physical as well as the mental battle. I am looking forward to a very good Super Rugby season, not great, but it must be better.

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.10.16 11:56:10 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • I was one of those that also thought that JS was the right man for the job. He was a Sharks man to the bone but i think his actual experience or lack thereof in the board room proved costly. I still think he is a great leader and will likely be successful in business one day. With Gary on board we now have another Great Shark but with the exception that he ticks the experience box.

    Look forward to seeing what develops at the Tank.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.10.16 12:30:27 by Farlington Reply

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  • Will The Sharks try buy a team, or is there time and patience to develop one?
    There are the makings of a good run on team here, short a fetcher and an 8, 9, and a few speedsters on the wings.

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.10.16 09:28:30 by Loosehead Reply

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  • @Loosehead (Comment 25) : personally my main concerns are how will Reinach perform and cover at 3 and 6 for Adriaanse and Keegan.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.10.16 12:10:16 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 26) :
    At 9 there is Reinach, Claasens, Ungerer,Venter and Stevens (hard to see them get anyone else).
    At 3 there is Adriaanse, Oosthuizen and DuToit (probably need to bolster this with someone)
    At 6 its trickier as there are a lot of loose forwards so depends how they are combined. (Hard to see someone being signed without some being let go)

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.10.16 12:20:46 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : yes at 9 I can’t see anyone being added so hope Reinach and co can hit form.
    At 3 neither Thomas nor Coennie showed anything to show me that their nearly ready for super rugby at 3. However both are very good at one and with Beast Sharks should be well covered there but at 3 there’s a problem once Adriaanse is not on the field.
    At 6 it’s about the same with Franna and Majola not showing enough to make me think they will be good enough for Super rugby.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.10.16 13:32:15 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 28) : Yeh i agree with you regarding the tighthead position. But with DuToit and Coenie earmarked for there it could prove tricky convincing someone else to sign.
    As for 6 i think the loosie combo will come from Daniel, DuPreez x 2, Van Der Walt, Deysel, Mthembu, Majola, Kleinhans plus that new guy Jacques Vermuelen we getting from WP apparently

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.10.16 13:41:01 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 28) : @SheldonK (Comment 29) : You guys make a valid point re: Tighthead…though we shouldn’t forget that Adriaanse had two poor seasons before this one. Hopefully Coenie can put this nightmare season behind him and show as mich improvement as Adriaanse has…

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.10.16 14:05:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : Coenie’s biggest problem is conditioning both mental and physical. If he concentrates he is actually a god player. Still very unconvinced by DuToit at 3 though.

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.10.16 14:11:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 30) : @SheldonK (Comment 31) : main deference between Adriaanse and Coenie/Thomas is Adriaanse is tight head and already performed there before this year so he just had to rediscover the form that was there. Neither Coenie nor Thomas has ever shown any form at tight head that comes close to Super rugby level!!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.10.16 16:05:02 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 32) : I thought Coenie did well for the SA A side but think that could have been at loosehead…cant remember

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.10.16 16:09:13 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) : Think you are right. Pretty sure he played loosehead for SA A

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.10.16 16:32:13 by Hulk Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) : @Hulk (Comment 34) : yes was at loose head and that’s where he most of the time looks good.

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.10.16 17:06:10 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 26) : When will Tera be back?

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.10.16 18:22:08 by coolfusion Reply

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  • We should let go of some dead wood and try to aquire some kings players how hard would it be to get them to sign with a more stable union. Cloete Hall Watermeyer. It didn’t take WP long to gun for Adriaanse and get him.

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.10.16 18:29:44 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 37) : Adriaanse who did WP sign? Jacobie is playing for the Bulls and Lourens for the Sharks? As for cutting “dead wood” you can only cut player when their contracts ends otherwise Sharks will once again paying people for services that they will not get.

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.10.16 20:25:39 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 36) : think Terra will be back next year but he is not an option at 6 as he’s a 7/8.

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.10.16 20:27:09 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 39) : Just checking when he will be back saw someone mentioning his name. Good guy just has very bad luck with injuries.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.10.16 07:40:25 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 38) : Correct bulls. Don’t know why I had WP stuck in my head. But still they weren’t afraid to approach these kings players and offer them a deal. Probably got a very good price too.

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.10.16 07:42:01 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 38) : Or you could forego aquiring aging french mercenaries for a young nr 6 flank. If the rumours turn out to be true. Sharks recruiters always slow on the uptake when there is opportunity.

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.10.16 07:45:58 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 42) : would personally love a young no 6 especially if he’s a bit like Marcell!!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.10.16 10:09:37 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 43) : Any suggestions perhaps?

  • Comment 44, posted at 20.10.16 10:49:07 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 44) : The best has gone to France, CJ Velleman

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.10.16 12:47:56 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 45) : Is he playing in France? Havnt seen him name on a teamsheet?

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.10.16 12:49:19 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 43) : @Vonno13 (Comment 45) : A guy i wouldnt mind seeing as a shorter term investment for a couple years is Kyle Brown

  • Comment 47, posted at 20.10.16 12:50:57 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 44) : unfortunately I don’t know but a player coming from under 21′s should be nice if there’s any available.

  • Comment 48, posted at 20.10.16 13:13:31 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 48) : Graeme Geldenhuys would probably be that guy but has been injury prone the last year or so

  • Comment 49, posted at 20.10.16 13:14:58 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 49) : hell no we have enough of that already at the Sharks!!!

  • Comment 50, posted at 20.10.16 14:37:28 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 50) : Well he is already in the structures so maybe the injury thing is contageous…

  • Comment 51, posted at 20.10.16 14:40:39 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 51) : I know about “sick building syndrome” but “injury union syndrome” is new to me ;-)

  • Comment 52, posted at 20.10.16 14:43:36 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 52) : Its newly discovered. Scientists are learning more as we speak…

  • Comment 53, posted at 20.10.16 14:45:11 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 53) : hahaha ja boet!!!

  • Comment 54, posted at 20.10.16 15:17:43 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 54) : Thoughts on my Kyle Brown idea?

  • Comment 55, posted at 20.10.16 15:19:36 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 55) : depend on were you want him to play? Could work but think he might be a bit to expensive so would rather have them raid a smaller union like the Cheetahs for a solid young open side!!! ;-)

  • Comment 56, posted at 20.10.16 15:35:03 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 56) : Kyle Brown at flank where he has played 15s before joining 7s. If he also wasnt so injury prone id take boom prinsloo

  • Comment 57, posted at 20.10.16 15:45:56 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 57) : Ja maybe, perhaps he could be like a Kwagga Smith for the Lions.

  • Comment 58, posted at 20.10.16 15:56:50 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 46) : Now that you mention it, neither have I – I think he is either at Toulon or Toulouse, one of the two

  • Comment 59, posted at 20.10.16 15:57:46 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 59) : I thought he went to Toulon but havnt heard anything about him playing or seen him on a team sheet that ive seen. Perhaps he may be injured as think he went there injured. I reckon he could easily be tempted back come end of the year and him still not playing

  • Comment 60, posted at 20.10.16 16:09:34 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Vonno13 (Comment 59) : @SheldonK (Comment 46) : can’t find anything on him moving to France.

  • Comment 61, posted at 20.10.16 16:12:20 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 61) : Maybe he is still on the boat ;)

  • Comment 62, posted at 20.10.16 16:12:59 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 57) : @Vonno13 (Comment 58) : ja it could work but all depending on how much it will cost!

  • Comment 63, posted at 20.10.16 16:13:33 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 62) : very slow boat as I can’t find anything on Google!

  • Comment 64, posted at 20.10.16 16:14:36 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 64) : Or the wrong boat. Maybe he only thinks he’s going to France. …

  • Comment 65, posted at 20.10.16 16:17:48 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 64) : who, Velleman?

  • Comment 66, posted at 20.10.16 16:19:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • I have this:

    “Crous said rumours on social media that CJ Velleman was moving to France were completely without merit.”

  • Comment 67, posted at 20.10.16 16:20:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 67) : That mean he is still in PE? He didnt play any CC

  • Comment 68, posted at 20.10.16 16:22:31 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 67) : yes Rob found that and reports of June/July about him being injured. Can’t find anything about a move.

  • Comment 69, posted at 20.10.16 16:27:31 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 68) : faaaked his knee, didn’t he?

  • Comment 70, posted at 20.10.16 16:55:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 70) : I smell opportunity. Plus he won’t come at a premium.

  • Comment 71, posted at 21.10.16 08:31:29 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 70) : Last i heard he was injured but didnt know what injury it was. If knee then that makes sense..possibly ACL so out for a good few months

  • Comment 72, posted at 21.10.16 08:51:45 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I had the highest respect and opinion of JS. Thought he was one of the best captains we ever had (as Boks and Sharks), however he lacked the qualifications and experience to fulfill the leadership position off the field and I didn’t support the decision to appoint him in that position. Frankly, I think numerous parties were shocked when he was appointed.

    In retrospect, I think he was just the face behind some tough decisions. He was not the decision maker. One of the worst decisions during his time was the sacking of JP. What I did appreciate about him, was his visibility as he turned up at various events.

    Reviewing the responses to GT appointment’s it is clear that it is much more optimistic in comparison to JS’s appointment. One major difference is that GT has experience in the business world, which JS didn’t have. This is a massive difference.

    I definitely support the decision to appoint him in this position and I hope that he has forgiven NM for his indiscretion…

  • Comment 73, posted at 29.10.16 19:42:41 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
     
  • Reviewing other possibilities provided some interesting options – Whal Bartman built a successful business and he is definitely a person with massive hart and he is still very much involved with the Sharks. He captained us at least 45 times The same for Graig Jamieson who captained us 43 times.

    Any news of what have become of our other x-captains since they left us:
    Stefan Terblanche (2010–11)
    Johann Muller (2008–10)
    Shaun Sowerby (2003)
    Mark Andrews (2001–02)
    Wayne Fyvie (2000)
    Chris Rossouw (Captained the Natal Sharks 5 times)
    Andre Joubert (Captained the Natal Sharks twice)
    John Allan (Captained the Natal Sharks 10 times)

  • Comment 74, posted at 29.10.16 19:59:37 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
     
  • @BluffShark (Comment 74) : geat question! Maybe time to do a “catch up and how’s life treating you” with them!!!

  • Comment 75, posted at 30.10.16 21:24:20 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    JDAssistant coach
     
  • @BluffShark (Comment 74) : let’s see

    Terblanche is CEO of the SA Rugby Legends Association.
    Muller, not too sure, I think he went back to the family farm.
    Sowerby is (but not sure for how much longer) Jake White’s assistant coach at Montpellier
    Andrews is around a bit, good friend of Teich’s. Not sure what he does business wise, but probably also farming related.
    Fyvie is CEO of a “Green Office” company, helping businesses be more eco friendly.
    Not sure about Rossouw and Joubert. Allan was also involved with the Legends but not sure if he still is.

  • Comment 76, posted at 31.10.16 10:14:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     

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