robdylan

Sharks land a big Lion


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Aug 2017 at 12:38
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Sharks have announced that Lions hooker Armand ‘Akker’ van der Merwe has signed a two year contract and will be available for immediate Currie Cup selection.

26-year-old Akker is a product of Oakdale in Riversdale and started to make his name after school at Potchefstroom University, where he stared in the Varsity Cup before moving onto Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup first division appearances for the Leopards in 2013. Hi impact there was such that a draft into the Lions Super Rugby squad happened in 2014 (with a full-time move to the Lions for Currie Cup as well that year). Van der Merwe capped off his Lions Super Rugby career with a 50th appearance in yesterday’s final. He has scored eight tries in the competition.

Behind those 50 caps lies a story – and perhaps the seeds of the move to Durban. Akker has only eleven Super Rugby starts to his name and will certainly be looking to become a more regular starter for his new franchise – although he’ll need to prove that he’s a better option that Franco Marais and Chiliboy Ralepelle in order to do so.

The immediate availability for Currie Cup rugby is certainly a boon, given Ralepelle’s elevation to the Springbok side. Expect van der Merwe to make a Sharks debut this week and to definitely feature in some capacity against his old side, the Lions, at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Welcome to the Sharks, Akker van der Merwe. We’re sure you will do the jersey proud.



51 Comments

  • Nice one!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.08.17 12:59:41 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 1) : Rate this guy

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.08.17 13:00:39 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • Xmas has arrived

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.08.17 13:03:57 by revolverocelot Reply

    Super Rugby player
     
  • @Morné (Comment 2) : With him and Franco we have two very solid options at hooker. Chili as well but he’s getting on a bit. Going to be interesting to see selection dynamics. Akker won’t have come to sit on the bench, but Franco’s lineout work is better.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.08.17 13:04:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • Eeeexcellent!

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.08.17 13:23:57 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Brilliant! Now get us the kwagga!

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.08.17 13:24:47 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • We still need a top 15, 4, 7, 3 and a genuine 6

    If Lambie Stays and can play and we have Bosch and of course Rob jnr we will be ok at 10

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.08.17 14:26:11 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 6) : lol even if we could get him Rob dup doesnt seem to want shorter more fetcher like flanks. kwagga seems to have bulked up since finishing the 7′s series, standing next too his captain kriel they seem to be the same height with kriel looking slightly more muscular, actual size has very little to do with effectiveness, but guys like mccaw and sam cane are not small.

    Kwagga should be in the bok squad IMHO

    interesting times ahead for the Lions, after two finals, how many key players will move on, how many will stay, new but familiar coach, at least tge format of SR will change which will give them fresh impetus. Swys likely to try and use the cc as a means to give more game him to fringe players like orie to allow the lions to build the required depth all teams need.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.08.17 16:16:15 by revolverocelot Reply

    Super Rugby player
     
  • This is just beautiful. Well done to Gary for this move. We are well covered at 2. Now to get more backline stocks.

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.08.17 17:30:13 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • This is a really big Lion boss.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.08.17 18:01:54 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • Actually I think we have all got it wrong. We are once again chasing star players and hoping that will fix the sharks. What will fix the sharks is a real team with real team pride loyalty and commitment. Then it doesn’t matter vir we don’t buy any other players. We will be strong. We keep falling into this trap of thinking hired guns and buying talent will fix us.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.08.17 18:06:01 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : I take back my kwagga comment. Keep him. Train and grow the guys we have. Become the sharks again. The one we all remember the one who with no name players clawed their way back into premier leagues.

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.08.17 18:08:29 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Morné (Comment 2) : for sure! I was wondering how long he would be happy to play behind Marx! Just hope the Sharks can keep Marais as I do think he can also become a very good hooker!

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.08.17 18:08:57 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : We need a backline coach and DOR with international experience preferably from NZ.

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.08.17 18:28:41 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 7) : We need a 7?! JLdP bot good enough for you? :lol: I guess you are talking about depth…I think with JLdP and Vermeulen and then Droste and Ginger as back options we are fine there…

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.08.17 18:50:58 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 15) : Tyler Paul also a bloody good option at 7

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.08.17 19:25:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : @pastorshark (Comment 15) : I am talking about depth, Tyler Paul i said earlier is an option, but if we short a top 4 lock how will we ever be able to use him at 7? VD Walt is no 7 in fact he is wasted at 6 as he is probably the best 8 in the country, just never gets recognition.

    o If JL Dup gets injured what then? Mtembu at 7? again not fair on Mtembu as he is actually an 8, Keegan is a 6 but no fetcher, and he is no where near the player he used to be.

    Losing Oosthuizen is a huge loss and yes Paul is very good too but Oosthuizen offered more in ball stealing etc too.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.08.17 19:53:37 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Player rotation is becoming more important all the time.

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.08.17 19:54:40 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Oh yes…

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.08.17 20:07:18 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 17) : Fair comments…but there is also Vermeulen – he is my first choice backup to JLdP…
    EO is a big loss…Lewies and Botha are good, but depth is an issue…either Paul, Andrews and Droste must step up or we need one more option…

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.08.17 20:11:06 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I think 4 and 15 is where we need strengthening most…then 3 and maybe 10…

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.08.17 20:12:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 17) : Um. Jacques Vermeulen? Heard of him? He’s quite good….

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.08.17 21:06:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 20) : Sharks are on a big lock shopping spree. Couple of options there at the moment, just awaiting some confirmation.

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.08.17 21:07:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Interesting, hopefully it works out

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.08.17 21:16:12 by revolverocelot Reply

    Super Rugby player
     
  • Pick your no3 and then pick the rest of your team … we need a decent backup option at 3

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.08.17 22:23:04 by byron Reply

    byronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Am very impressed with Tyler Paul. Maybe a bit short for lock but a very good forward regardless of position.

  • Comment 26, posted at 06.08.17 23:14:55 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Please give names. Any word on the Mapimpi rumour?

  • Comment 27, posted at 06.08.17 23:17:37 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @revolverocelot (Comment 8) : Most of the Lions will be available next year, Faf and Akker are the only two confirmed moves with the rest of the SR squad still contracted or having re-signed

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.08.17 05:26:31 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • Nice.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.08.17 08:34:30 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • This creates an interesting selection issue. All 3 hookers will want game time to push for Bok honours. I foresee someone leaving and it could well be Franco Marais.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.08.17 08:56:50 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 14) : Ja that should be good to see. If they address it.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.08.17 09:14:55 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 28) : No matter some WP stock will probably be coming onto the market for sharks to shop from.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.08.17 09:16:50 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • I don’t want to be ‘that guy’…..Oakdale is in Riversdal :twisted: Welcome Akker,great addition!

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.08.17 09:48:38 by BarendL Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 30) : I hope not…Franco and Akker should be our men…Chilli is getting on and should head into a mentoring role and provide depth…

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.08.17 10:04:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 28) : And Ruan Ackermann, it looks like?

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.08.17 10:28:40 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 34) : Just remember Chillibo is currently in the Bok mix and the others arent. So whilst i agree with you its going to be tough for RDP to not select the guy in the Bok mix.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.08.17 10:57:50 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @BarendL (Comment 33) : ag bliksem….. it’s close enough, isn’t it?

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.08.17 11:02:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 28) : you got a list of who’s sticking around for CC?

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.08.17 11:02:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : Sure…that doesn’t change my mind though… :grin:

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.08.17 12:06:38 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : :lol: yeah,about 120km or so, but big rivals of the big school in George,Outeniqua

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.08.17 15:22:28 by BarendL Reply
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  • [email protected]robdylan : Akker from Oakdale? That is where he made his name? Journalistic licence? :lol: Reminds me a lot of Bismarck around 5 years ago without the beard. :grin: I think we are moving in the right direction. Need to firm up our 4/5 area as well as No.10/15 as many commentators above are saying. Rob, any news on our injured players and their progress?

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.08.17 15:26:32 by markm Reply

    markmVodacom Cup player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : But that is the next campaigns worry.

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.08.17 15:39:42 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I wonder if this the 1st sign of cracks within the “Lions family”?

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.08.17 08:32:49 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
     
  • On signing new players, does anyone know how much truth there was in the rumour that we are trying to sign Rob dP jnr?

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.08.17 09:51:27 by HeinF Reply

    HeinFTeam captain
     
  • @BluffShark (Comment 43) : don’t think it’s cracks but with Faf for sure one of the first to be poached by another team. I’m sure as the player contracts run out others will follow as other teams (especially from abroad) take notice of the talent available in the Lions set-up. Heard a rumour that Ackerman jnr is following his dad and will leave after the season.

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.08.17 10:09:49 by JD Reply
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  • Oakdale is in Riverdale not George. ;-)

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.08.17 14:36:57 by sharkingmad Reply

    sharkingmadUnder 21 player
     
  • @JD (Comment 45) : But they said (and I stand to be corrected) that they are a family, playing for each other.

    but now it seems more and more of then are divorcing the family.

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.08.17 14:58:22 by BluffShark Reply

    BluffSharkUnder 21 player
     
  • @HeinF (Comment 44) : I think we have signed him

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.08.17 15:03:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Okay thanks, think he is a very good addition

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.08.17 15:38:10 by HeinF Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Why haven’t they announced it and is he fit to play and when.

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.08.17 16:10:08 by The hound Reply
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  • @BluffShark (Comment 47) : yes but remember it’s easy to stay in the family when nobody knows you or making big money offers. Now with the success of the team all of a sudden people take notice of the players and as time goes by they will start to struggle with the same problems as the other teams!!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.08.17 18:50:31 by JD Reply
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