Big dreams: Sharksworld chats to Allan Dell

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 18 Nov 2010 at 07:00
Tagged with : , ,

Allan Michael Elgin Dell is a young man with dreams big enough to match his imposing physique. At 18 years of age, the promising young tighthead prop already tips the scales at an impressive 115kgs and he has been widely tipped as a future star based on his exploits for Queens College and the Border Craven Week side. Sharksworld was lucky enough to corner the young man, who is due to join the Sharks in 2011, in between writing Matric exams, for a quick chat.

We decided to start at the beginning, asking Allan to tell us a little bit about his origins and where and when his rugby career began. “I was born in Humansdorp and went to school in Queenstown,” he tells us. “I grew up on the farm there, with a whole community consisting of lots of members of my family – parents, grandparents and so on. My parents decided to send me to Queens College where I would be the fifth generation of our family to attend that school. My father made me start playing rugby whe I was small – tackling little sheep and calves in the shed. When I went to school, I started playing seriously – under 8s and under 9s and that was when I seriously started enjoying my rugby. I used to play eighthman when I was still one of those little skinny farm kids, but then I started getting heavier and lazier and slow, so I moved to the front row when I was about 11.”

We inevitably moved onto heroes and role models and asked Allan who the players were that inspired him when he was growing up. He tells us that “when I was small I always used to love watching Jonah Lomu – I tried to play like him. But then I started following guys like Carl Heyman – I think he’s really good – and guys like Euan Murray and Rob Kempson.” Kempson is a fellow Queenian, one of that school’s four Springboks. The other well-known one is, of course, Bok assistant coach Dick Muir. Allan tells us a little more about his high school rugby career at Queens: “I played under 14a and 15a and then when I was 16, I made the first side. I also made the Grant Khomo Border side that year and the SA High Performance squad that they picked. I then made Craven week last year and this year and was also lucky enough to make the SA Schools and SA High Performance squads. I was vice captain for the SA HP squad in the game we played against England earlier this year.”

Allan has clearly been identified as a leader and apart from captaining his school’s first side his year, was also chosen as Head Boy. We asked him if he considers himself a natural captain. “I only started being the captain at under 16 level – other than that I haven’t really been captain. In my game I always try to encourage the guys next to me and try to lift them. This year was no different – I didn’t really try to change my whole game or anything. I just concentrated a bit more on the guys around me – kept their heads up and tried to keep them motivated and get the best out of them.”

Asked about why he chose to continue his career in Durban, Allan was full of praise for the Sharks. “I believe the Sharks have got the best props – in Jannie du Plessis, Eugene van Staden and Wiehahn Herbst – I really think those are the best props in South Africa and I really want to learn lots from them. I also think the Sharks are a very profesional outfit, especially for younger players. They’ve got a good family environment and the support is great. They play good rugby and I really want to become a part of that.”

Looking ahead to his goals for the next few years, Allan tells us “next year I want to crack the Sharks under 21 side and also make the SA under 20 side. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be happy to play under 19 for the Sharks. But if I don’t make those goals next year, I’ll just keep working hard. The thing is, there are so many talented guys who are on the same level – every school has a good tighthead prop and there are only so many unions. It’s going to come down to who works hardest and wants it the most. I have to keep my goals in sight, though and I want to definitely represent the Sharks by the time I’m 21. I mean, guys like Owen Franks and Ben Slipper are playing international rugby at tighthead at 21. If they can do it, why can’t I do it?”

Sharksworld would like to thank Allan Dell for his time and wish him all the best for the future, starting with his Matric exams, but also with his rugby career with the Sharks!


  • It’s amazing, the youngsters seem to be be getting bigger all the time. One of the Affies props, that played at the St johns rugby festival, was 125kg.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.11.10 07:37:22 by Bump Reply
  • Love his attitude!
    Will definatly be looking out for his name in the near future!

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.11.10 07:41:59 by kevmaestro Reply
  • But if I don’t make those goals next year, I’ll just keep working hard

    Good on ya youngster

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.11.10 08:22:03 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • What a great acquisition for the Sharks. Allan is a good player with an excellent temperament as well. We need good tightheads in SA.
    I wonder if he rates the England u18 loosehead as his most difficult opponent.
    Good stuff again Rob. Your work is much appreciated. Without doubt you are a hero of the cause of junior rugby in KZN. SA junior rugby needs many more guys like you to grow its popularity and hopefully your efforts earn you the deserved recognition.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.11.10 08:25:45 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • It’s a bit late considering Rob’s interview was last week but here’s the link to a youtube vid that I uploaded of Sharks bound player Paul Jordaan’s try vs England for anyone interested. It’s the sort of thing he was doing week in week out this year and will hopefully continue to play this well in the seasons to come.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.11.10 08:27:59 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • Glad to see dell heading our way..and super attitude!!looking forward to seeing him scrum,tackle and run opponents into the ground!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.11.10 08:46:14 by bergshark Reply
  • But he has already played for sharks u19 this season,hasn’t he?

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.11.10 08:49:54 by bergshark Reply
  • @beet (Comment 5) :

    That is quite a try!! Wow!

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.11.10 08:53:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • Paul jordaan looks great running with the ball!!him and piet in comb?there are some good midfield prospects @sharks..

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.11.10 08:54:05 by bergshark Reply
  • Big dreams , big talent ..

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.11.10 08:56:55 by bergshark Reply
  • @bergshark (Comment 9) :

    Our Vodacom Cup squad is looking strong. I cannot wait to see them playing together!

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.11.10 08:57:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • He forgot to mention the BEAST! Beast is gonna show him at the first scrumming practice not to forget :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.11.10 09:36:12 by Sportbilly Reply
  • @Sportbilly (Comment 12) :


  • Comment 13, posted at 18.11.10 09:37:50 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • @Sportbilly (Comment 12) : He was talking about tightheads 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.11.10 10:09:08 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    Good point.. lol.. didn’t think about that..

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.11.10 10:10:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • Seems like a nice kid.

    But seriously – tackling sheep and calves in the shed???

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.11.10 10:26:07 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter lostfish
  • @beet (Comment 5) : my goodness… that wrap-around move was utterly sublime (apart from the pass that went 3 metres forward, but whatever!)

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.11.10 10:33:12 by robdylan Reply
  • @lostfish (Comment 16) : it’s a back-country farming thing!

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.11.10 10:33:41 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    Have to agree on that forward pass.. Awful miss that!

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.11.10 10:35:04 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : ah well… play to the whistle and all that. As I mentioned to you on BBM, the awesome thing about that try was the way that Jordaan was the playmaker and the finisher all in one package.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.11.10 10:57:30 by robdylan Reply
  • what club is he going to be playing for next season?

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.11.10 11:17:40 by Barrel Reply
  • @Barrel (Comment 21) : I’m quite sure that hasn’t been decided yet. He’s only due in Durban on the 25th of Jan, so I’m pretty sure they’ll get all the lads settled in before deciding on clubs.

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.11.10 11:22:30 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :

    Who decides on clubs Rob? Do you have any idea how that works?

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.11.10 11:42:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 23) : I’m not too sure… but I think it’s a proper can of worms at times.

    Time for “Sharksworld investigates”? 🙂

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.11.10 11:58:19 by robdylan Reply
  • Yes i do…if he is a contracted players he will be given a club to play for…they split the contracted players but the 2 biggies normally have a tight hand in there and steal most of them…non contracted will be evenly split amongst the 6 DRSU clubs if they dont put their name to a club on their application…

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.11.10 11:58:34 by Barrel Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :

    I think this is a good idea.. Hmmm..

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.11.10 12:02:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Richard Ferguson
  • @Barrel (Comment 25) : yes – so as I hinted to above, Saders and Rovers getting all the best players does tend to cause a wee bit of unhappiness amongst the other clubs 🙂

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.11.10 12:05:17 by robdylan Reply
  • no no no…rovers and collegians…its all changed…saders are battling a bit hey…

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.11.10 12:06:25 by Barrel Reply
  • @Barrel (Comment 28) : oh Collegians… right. Whoops 😳

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.11.10 12:13:26 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : whats your email address…

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.11.10 12:15:51 by Barrel Reply
  • @Barrel (Comment 30) : [email protected]

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.11.10 12:17:35 by robdylan Reply
  • Allocxate them all to the varsity team thats going to play 2nd tier varsity cup.

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.11.10 12:20:55 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 32) : ja – you’d think that would be a no-brainer

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.11.10 12:29:10 by robdylan Reply
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 32) : thats already been done and those players from the clubs have left tovarsity already…only problem is they play in pmb so can come back to other clubs when they retuen as its a change of domicile…and they fall under MRSU and they have an academy…

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.11.10 12:36:59 by Barrel Reply
  • @Barrel (Comment 34) :
    Interesting, you seem to have your finger on tHe club rugby pulse in KZN, dont you and Rob want to collaborate on an article with emphasis on structures (sub unions), the academy(ies) and now the varsity cup.

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.11.10 13:31:26 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • So not the oke that makes computers? 😈

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.11.10 13:40:42 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 36) : ah yes, he is also Allan Dell, isn’t he? Or is he Michael Dell?

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.11.10 13:50:17 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : No idea. Dell was good enough for me. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.11.10 13:56:35 by McLovin Reply
  • Pity about him being an Old Queenian 😉

    Oh and by the way it’s James Slipper!! 😛

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.11.10 14:17:52 by Villie Reply
  • @Villie (Comment 39) : oh right… I’m sure he meant to say that. Or maybe he just said “Slipper” and it was me who put the wrong first name in.

    Did Queens give Dale a pk this year?

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.11.10 15:11:19 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : Rob the honours were shared this year 1 win a piece to Queens and Dale, the first Dale win over their big rivals in many years. But watch out for Dale next year, they’re potentially a SA top 10 side, had many grade 11’s in the 1st team this year.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.11.10 15:15:51 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • @beet (Comment 41) : call Rudy and let him know, please 🙂

    Or better yet, send a delegation comprising Keegan Daniel and Tera Mtembu down there to convince the best ones to sign up!

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.11.10 15:34:04 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 40) :

    Rob…it’s not a big deal…just sounded wrong when I read it…but knew who you meant!! 😉

    Dale haven’t had a top side for a few years but they still hold their own when you consider how small they are in comparison to some of the other schools. Also, they are drawing a lot more on day scholars ie. local boys now. In my day, there was a strong bias towards boarders!!

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.11.10 15:48:18 by Villie Reply
  • Still can’t believe how close he is to representing the Sharks main team,it all seemed quite distant at this point,but now it’s almost that time

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.03.12 21:49:38 by Ludz Reply
  • @Ludz (Comment 44) : Thanks Ludz, if you hadn’t commented I wold probably not have found this article!
    This guy definately has the attitude for SR!

  • Comment 45, posted at 20.03.12 06:38:54 by Die Kriek Reply
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 45) : He has a great mentality,he backs himself and leadership comes naturally to him. Wasn’t on sharksworld at this point,so am glad I got to comment

  • Comment 46, posted at 20.03.12 08:03:43 by Ludz Reply

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