Introducing the Sharks XV

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 12 Dec 2008 at 13:37
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A new season, a new coach, a settled squad and (finally) a new name! That’s right, ladies and gents, the KZNRU are ready to launch a serious assault on the 2009 Vodacom Cup and you’ve got to back them to do the business next year.

When the Vodacom Cup started back in 1996, the Union took a pretty firm stance, based on the fact that they felt whatever team they could field was bound to be at a disadvantage. With the top four provincial sides competing in the Super 12 and everyone else playing Vodacom Cup, there was no way that they felt they could field a competitive team and they decided not to cheapen the brand or jersey by competing as the Sharks. Senior caps were not awarded and the Wildebeest have remained a bit of an unloved bastardisation ever since.

I’ve written a number of pieces about this over the past year. There has been a definite surge in the level of interest around the ‘Beeste in recent years, particularly after they came so close to winning the Vodacom Cup in 2006. Sharks fans, desperate to see their heroes in action and to catch a glimpse of the next generation of talent, have flocked to support the men in white and black and the Union has now, finally, decided to bring them back into the fold proper.

In 2009, the once Wildebeest will play in the Vodacom Cup as the Sharks XV, under the tutelage of former Rovers head coach Sean Everitt. You can read Mike Marnewick’s interview with Everitt on Sharksrugby, where the Sharks assistant coach for the 2008 Currie Cup explains some of the changes.

Of particular interest and importance is the fact that the Sharks XV will operate as an independent squad, drawn from the Sharks High Performance squad – in particular, those members of the extended training squad who don’t make the Super 14 cut this year. In previous years, the Wildebeest team has been little more than a ragtag bunch, picked the night before each game, based on whoever was not going to be in the Sharks 22 that weekend. Next year, there will be a settled squad of “next generation” players and teh coaching staff will aim for continuity, as well as bringing through the next generation of talent in time for the 2009 Currie Cup.

Expect the coaching team of Everitt, Ryan Strudwick and Ettienne Fynn to build on their strong Rovers links and establish a team based on the core of players who contested the final of the National Club Champs this year. The bulk of that team went on to play at the Malaysia Tens in November as the KZN Duikers and stalwarts like Wes Bodmer, Justin Downey, Mike Rhodes and Jacques Potgieter should figure prominently. Add recent imports Len Olivier and Lionel Cornelius to the mix, together with some promising age group talent like centre Luzuko Vulindlu and the irrepressible Cronje twins and you suddenly have the makings of a very strong squad indeed.

All the best, Sean and the team! The Sharks XV can be assured of our unwavering support during the 2009 Vodacom Cup. Bring it home.


  • Ettienne Fynn?? 😯

    Do you rate him as a coach Robbo???

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.12.08 13:45:04 by wpw Reply
  • I am stoked about this…

    how’s this for a team:

    1 Burra Mtetwa
    2 Craig Burden
    3 Robbie Harris
    4 Nik Blignaut
    5 Mike Rhodes
    6 Warren Whiteley
    7 Justin Downey
    8 Thabo Mamojele
    9 Sandy Nxumalo
    10 Len Olivier
    11 Wes Bodmer
    12 Lionel Cornelius
    13 Luzuko Vulindlu
    14 Lwazi Mvovo
    15 Carl Bezuidenhout

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.12.08 13:48:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : he has to be a better coach than he was a commentator

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.12.08 13:49:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    Not too shabby…

    I think WP can also put out a fairly good XV for the VC.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.12.08 13:53:41 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 4) : and we still have Jacques Potgieter, Pampoen van Jaarsveldt and the Cronje twins on the bench.

    Maybe Henno Mentz could even crack the squad…

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.12.08 13:56:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • WP XV

    1 Schalk Ferreira
    2 Shimange
    3 Brok Harris (puke!)
    4 Lobberts
    5 SHit (dunno)
    6 Myburgh
    7 Pieter Louw
    8 Melck
    9 Hoffman / Duvenage
    10 SHIT (we are seriously in kak) De Waal
    11 Groepies
    12 Newman
    13 Des Fountain
    14 Wylie
    15 Aplon/Pietersen

    Oh my gawd! We have NO depth. 👿 👿

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.12.08 13:58:15 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 4) : WP’s Vodacom Cup team will be playing in the Super 14, dude…

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.12.08 13:59:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 6) : those guys will all be in your Super 14 squad anyway. I have picked guys who are not likely to be in the Sharks squad of 35…

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.12.08 14:01:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • Mike Rhodes can be pulled to the ‘proper” squad… 😉 😆

    Seeing that some think we might have a bit of a problem with the locks.. and in case we do…

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.12.08 14:04:40 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    Not all of them hey Rob.

    We have Percy and Jantjes as fullbacks so either Aplon or Poetersen to miss out.

    Wylie is miss out cos Koster will cover wing. :mrgreen:

    Newman and Des Fountain won’t cover centres cos we’ve got Grant and the Fijian with De Waal (spit!) on the bench.

    We only have 4 senior contracted locks. 😯

    In other words to summarize, we are not going to be competitive.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.12.08 14:08:09 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 10) : ok… took you an awful long time to summarise that 🙂

    @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 9) : I really don’t see us having a problem at lock

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.12.08 14:14:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Wasn’t he assistant for the U19s that won the ABSA Under 19 Cup?

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.12.08 14:19:54 by Baldrick Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :

    I dont think so either…but he is a cutie…. 😈 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.12.08 14:21:29 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Harris and Ferraira will be on S14 duty which means the actual VC props will be better than the S14 manne.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.12.08 14:28:29 by PJLD Reply
  • Go SHARKS XV… already sounds better that Wildebeest… 😀

    @robdylan (Comment 2) : And they try to say we don’t develop players 🙄 That’s a super squad!

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.12.08 14:39:43 by blckshrk - BUCS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Baldrick (Comment 12) : what, did he help out Rudi?

    @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 13) : Rhodes? Yeah – in a boyish kind of way

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.12.08 14:46:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :

    He was a Rovers Boytjie , Not??

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.12.08 15:07:02 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 17) : they’re ALL Rovers boytjies… Rovers has a frighteningly strong side.

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.12.08 15:15:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :

    I know the U/21 (I Think) coach…said to me few years ago Rhodes is gonna be good if he’s not haunted by injury..

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.12.08 15:20:57 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 19) : well he F*CKED his knee badly last year.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.12.08 15:46:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 14) :

    U think Rassie is gonna select those two ahead of Blaauw and Kritzinger???

    I don’t think so hey! Both those players were very promising during the CC.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.12.08 15:48:24 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 21) : two good young props…

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.12.08 15:58:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 6) :

    You can play Dwiss Watson at 10 and he can Captain the side. 😳

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.12.08 07:02:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Fynn was a winning under 19 coach. Seriaaas.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.12.08 12:27:05 by Salmonoid Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Im very partial to the Natal Duiker name – for the 15 man code.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.12.08 12:27:59 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 25) :

    Duikers had to be u/23 though? correct?

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.12.08 12:31:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) :
    Not so sure about that, I thought they were basically those knocking on the door of being selected for the the Natal senior side.
    Checking this out I see that they have been given their own facility at Kings Park called the Ruck and Maul.
    I wonder if the Duikers of old and the 10 man version that now bear their name have any similarities.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.12.08 13:05:27 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • godd luck.

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.12.08 19:59:00 by Duiwel Reply

  • good even .
    good luck.

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.12.08 19:59:46 by Duiwel Reply

  • I am working on more depth wpw don’t worry, just another 18 years or so…

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.12.08 09:07:26 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 30) :

    Hey putting a child out in public in a WP jersey is considered child abuse.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.12.08 09:38:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Not sure I like the idea of a team in the Vodacom Cup being called anything related to the Sharks and the Wildebeeste had a good tradition to it.

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.12.08 10:05:13 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass

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