Bert will be big in Japan

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 8 Feb 2010 at 10:08
Tagged with : , , ,

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.


  • He will be the biggest

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.02.10 10:09:59 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • Oh and well played Albert, good innings.

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.02.10 10:11:27 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • check this out…

    • Position: Lock
    • Physical: 2.01m; 110kg
    • Born: 26.01.74, Hoopstad
    • Province Caps: 146 (15 Vaal Triangle, 55 Griquas, 76 Sharks)
    • Province Debut: 1994 Vaal Triangle v Western Transvaal
    • Super 14 Caps: 102 (95 Sharks, 7 Cats)
    • Super 14 Debut: 1999 Cats v Highlanders
    • Test Caps: 51
    • Test Debut: 1999 v Italy

    Add that up and you get 299 first class caps!

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.02.10 10:17:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Cheers Albert.
    A huge thanks for your contribution, which in the greater scheme of things has been amazing.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.02.10 10:39:11 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • a very underrated player. it is the problem when you become part of the furniture. good luck albert

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.02.10 10:46:58 by try time Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 4) : agree. What a stalwart. What a legend.

    Always felt very happy to have him in the match 22.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.02.10 10:52:38 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Fantastic player. Thanks for everything Albert. I’m sure you’ll make it ‘Massive in Japan’

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.02.10 10:56:35 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :
    He was at the Sharks for a long time and in that time no one could accuse him of shirking his duties, a good testament to the person he is.

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.02.10 11:02:00 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Cheers Albert,

    All the best in Japan.

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.02.10 11:03:51 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 9) : hey, you made it 🙂 Next step is to get a picture loaded.

    You can head on over to to associate one with your email address (it will be used here) or you can upload one directly onto Sharksworld via your user profile

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.02.10 11:15:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Puma (Comment 9) : Puma from Voldy???? Welcome 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.02.10 11:32:34 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • The team will be able to select an extra loose forward when he plays, because the oppo won’t be able to take any lineout ball.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.02.10 11:33:18 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 12) : will the hooker be able to throw high enough? Will probably hit him on the chest 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.02.10 11:39:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • To quote the song: “It’s easy when you’re big in Japan”. If there’s anyone who deserves an easy ride into retirement, it’s Albert. Not only is it befitting of his easy-going character, but he has been (and still is) a great servant of the game. Cheers Albert – we’ll miss you!

    BTW Rob – thanks for the nifty edit thingy. Just used it to edit this post and ad the thanks.

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.02.10 11:44:42 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @rhineshark (Comment 14) : sure thing, dude. Glad you like it

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.02.10 11:52:23 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Baldrick (Comment 12) : Hahahha, dude, love ur nic and pic…LOLZ

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.02.10 11:58:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Wow, never thought the old man would leave….what a lock

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.02.10 12:01:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • those of you on Twitter, come help me out a little? Tank Lanning and his mate from are giving me grief for standing up for Albert

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.02.10 12:09:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : Nice pic, but what’s the looser? Loser or looser?

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.02.10 12:40:17 by Baldrick Reply

  • I see on the Sharks site that Albert was given the Freedom of the Park. This is good and befitting way of honouring him for his contribution to the Sharks.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.02.10 09:34:31 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : excellent and most fitting

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.02.10 09:37:59 by robdylan Reply
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