McLeod to quit Sharks after Super Rugby

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Feb 2014 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , ,

It’s been confirmed by both player and club that Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod will join Grenoble in France on conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.

The 30-year-old, who has a single test cap, joined the Sharks from the Valke in 2008 after impressing against the team for the East Rand minnows in the 2007 Currie Cup. Initially biding his time behind the likes of Ruan Pienaar and Rory Kockott, over the next few seasons he forced his way into the starting scrumhalf berth and was instrumental in the successful Currie Cup campaigns of 2010 and 2013, with last year’s two-try heroics in the final a particular highlight.

McCleod has also represented the Sharks in Super Rugby on 56 occasions to date, but has lost the undisputed right to the starting scrumhalf position to Cobus Reinach in recent seasons.

The decision to go to France is perhaps not a completely strange one, given that McLeod is very clearly not in the springbok selection frame under Heyneke Meyer and is, at 30, now heading towards the twilight phase of his career. The opportunity to set his family up well by playing in Europe for a few years would, I’m sure, be a good one for him and the 2-year deal with Grenoble appears to have come at the right time.

His departure, though, will leave the Sharks very thin at scrumhalf, particularly in next year’s Super Rugby competition. Youngsters Stefan Ungerer, Hanco Venter and Cameron Wright all have bags of talent but none have any senior experience. McLeod’s departure will at least provide the Sharks with the opportunity to blood these players in 2014’s Currie Cup.


  • thinking the Lions need to sign Faf De klerk .. otherwise he might be heading to Sharks country …

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.02.14 08:10:37 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • Sad to see a quality player go, i think he offers a lot both on and off the field. But he has to look at his future and make sure his family is looked after so cant blame the guy. And we do have sum seriously talented guys in our ranks.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.02.14 08:10:59 by SheldonK Reply

  • The amount of times Reinach cost us points on Saturday yet again, makes this a huge concern for Sharks Rugby.

    To be fair to McLeod, why would he want to stay here when clearly he is the better player, yet always sits on the bench.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.02.14 08:15:31 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Theres truth in both sides of the story – making sure of his future by going to France – plenty have done it before him and planty will do it in the future. As well as sitting on the bench, knowing you can do better. Maybe there’s a rotation policy that will put him up first in the next few games. Who knows.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.02.14 08:22:29 by Caratacus Reply

  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 3) : Bear in mind, White is obviously acutely aware of the fact that McLeod is 30 years of age.

    White thankfully has the ability to plan 5 years ahead, which means Reinach has to start this year with McLeod as a very competent backup, should Reinach implode in a game.

    We can’t very well have Reinach starting only next year, with Ungerer as backup, that would be disastrous.

    Sad to see McLeod go, but believe it is a good time for him to enjoy a nice retirement package up North.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.02.14 08:25:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I’m pretty sure that this has been coming from before the preseason, thus the reason for Reinach starting. White has to get Reinach ready for the day that he has no Charl to fall back on. Chances are good though that Reinach will be with the boks for the RC, so the likes of Ungerer will be blooded in the CC, which is a lot less demanding than trying to blood them during the SR. But all in all, am sad to see Charl go, but wish him all the best for the future.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.02.14 08:31:14 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Good Luck Charl. I think its the right time for him and his family. Thanks for the memories. You will always be a sharkie

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.02.14 08:35:34 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Not totally surprising, but damnit, how inconsistent is Cobus Reinach??!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.02.14 08:36:45 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 8) : Remember how inconsistent McCloed used to be? Just hope some of his fighting spirit rubs of on Reinach and that we get a scrummie that can push Cobus, because Charl used to play his best rugby when challenged for his jersey.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.02.14 08:39:27 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Best thing for the Sharks only this should happen sooner.Sharks can then back the youngsters like the Lions with Faf and get proper attacking rugby momentum on the field.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.02.14 08:50:24 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Zibbie (Comment 1) : Nope thanks, 1 fair game and you think he is a super star?? 😯 Ungerer has already been groomed, team like the Bulls went after him big time, he was a star in last years Bok u20 side.


  • Comment 11, posted at 24.02.14 08:58:02 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I do not believe there is need to stress, I am a big Mcleod fan but we do have cover.

    Reinach is getting beter with experience, and Ungerer will be playing VC cup and of course then CC, so too the other 2 scrummies that Rob has mentioned.

    Ungerer is a big strong scrummy with a good boot and long pass.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.02.14 09:00:46 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 12) : and has the ability to pass off the deck,straight and flat ,no two step wiggle the ball nonsense.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.02.14 09:07:17 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 11) :

    ok fine . we will keep him then πŸ˜›

    but please . dont put words in my mouth . i did not say he was a superstar …

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.02.14 09:09:51 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @benji (Comment 10) : Faf is a Puma. The Lions arent blooding one of their own but their CC oppositions player. But I agree, good on them.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.02.14 09:10:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Someone in the know recently posted that Bresler is also off. Any news on that?

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.02.14 09:11:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Can’t say I am surprised he has been looking to leave for around 2 years now. Can’t say I am sad to see him go as I have never rated him.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.02.14 09:24:20 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Thank you for your service to our team CHARL. The time is right for him to move on now. Many other rumours of players negotiating or have signed already. Bressler – Europe, Justin – Japan, Wors – Europe, Hewitt – France , Tim – France, if Keegan’s not in the mix he will go overseas ? etc. etc. This is bound to happen when senior players are not in the mix. We have a great squad however, with good juniors. My biggest worry is if we have injuries , 9 , 4, 13.

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.02.14 09:25:27 by Observer Reply

  • Rob, Any news about our Vodacom Cup side. The useless way the Stormers and Bulls played and with the quality of our players not in S15 mix, we can field a second S15 team – LOL πŸ˜† . Keegan, Jaques, Wors, Justin, Kleynhans, Peet, Hewitt, Marco, Tim, Esterhuizen, Ungerer to mention a few. When JPP returns not sure who will come down ?

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.02.14 09:34:05 by Observer Reply

  • @Observer (Comment 19) : These are the players for VC unless they get called up to the main squad, or shall I say unless JW has other plans are not in the main mix

    15 Van Tonder (SR and CC)
    14 JPP (Boks)
    13 Fisher (cc,vc and junior Bok)
    12 Esterhuizen(cc,vc and junior Bok)
    11 Chavanga (Boks)
    10 Zeilinga (CC and JB)
    09 Ungerer (JB)
    08 Mtembu (SR and JB)
    07 Botes (Boks)
    06 Daniel(Boks)
    05 Marais (SR)
    04 Oosthuisen(SR)
    03 Herbst(SR)
    02 Mondi(SR)
    01 Du Toit ( 18 yrs old)strong as an ox

    Whitehead Center (SR)
    Hewitt Lock (SR)
    Swiel FH (CC)
    Matt Stevens prop Interntional)
    Hanco Venter scrummy (JB)
    Ex free state and bok lock can’t think of his name( Boks)
    Franco vd Merwe Hooker (VC and JB)
    Danie Mienie Prop (CC and JB)
    Justin Downey Flank (SR)

    This is another 24 players that are either very experienced or very good up and coming players.

    Also I am not up to date with all the youngsters coming through like Rob is and I know I have left out names like the 3 Du Preez brothers and Koegies the young up and coming Lock etc.

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.02.14 09:56:52 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Thanks for your service Charl, you’ve been a great servant of Sharks rugby! Hope you leave with a Super Rugby title behind your name.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.02.14 10:08:22 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • All the best Charl. He’s been a good and loyal servant, and notes a good time to build a nest egg.

    @Uli Boelie (Comment 3) :
    I’m don’t know what Reinach did to you, but it must have been bad.

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.02.14 10:09:40 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : πŸ˜€

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.02.14 10:25:36 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Charl was huge in both 2010 and 2013 CC wins. He did his part for the Sharks. I’m happy that he gets a chance to play overseas.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.02.14 10:44:11 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : I’m afraid that there are certain people whose opinions and comments about certain players are just so irrevocably tainted that they have to be ignored.

    I simply cannot understand how one player can end up being so personally vilified, particularly if he plays for a team that the poster claims to support.

    Then again, I guess I did have my own “Uli moment” when it came to Ryan Walker πŸ™‚

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.02.14 11:03:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : hehe, if only bjorn basson played for the sharks… then he would have been save πŸ˜€

    @Big Fish (Comment 22) : I dont have anyhting personal.

    Go count the points he has cost us over the past two years.

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.02.14 11:13:36 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • All the best to Charl! Hope that when your send off comes it will be off the back of a victorious SR! One of my favorite players to put on the Sharks jersey and thoroughly deserves the opportunity to play abroad.

    I can only guess that this is one of the reasons for Cobus hogging the starting position so far this year. He will be the veteran come CC time.

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.02.14 11:20:46 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • This is really a big blow for us, but I can really understand that a player would like a new challenge at the end and make some bigger money as well. Obviously the talks for the move would have been going on for weeks, with White knowing this. This could be why Reinach is starting, as he needs all the experience he can get if he is going to be our clear cut no1 scrumhalf

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.02.14 12:04:48 by HeinF Reply

  • Ahhh! A bad blow for South African rugby!!! Charl is world class. Rugby is still a business and he needs to cash in while he is able. Lambie is going to miss his quality service!
    Cobus shall learn a lot from Charl this season still but I would love it if we could sign Faf.

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.02.14 19:58:23 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 29) :
    I’m sorry, but that just summarises how silly fans can be.

    Sign Fan De Klerk? Based on what???

    Do you know anything about Ungerer and Hanco Venter?

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.02.14 20:45:40 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 30) : Yes indeed, neither of them can boast as cool a first name as Faf.

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.02.14 21:56:39 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 31) : I base it on Blink

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.02.14 23:24:25 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • Silly blink then

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.02.14 23:28:00 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : What you smoking???? JP in the VC side…….I think not

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.02.14 01:04:29 by Saffex Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 30) : We’re a strange nation. When someone shows any sign of talent, we want them to shoot straight to the top.

    Yet when one poor performance is displayed, we call for heads and proclaim doom and gloom. (specifically referring to the Proteas, after the first test, I also thought all was lost and we’ve gone down the drain and we will be stuck playing second fiddle to the ozzies for the next decade) I think we’re all pretty cynical and we tend to get ahead of ourselves when there’s a flicker of hope, seems to be our way of dealing with life in SA.

  • Comment 35, posted at 25.02.14 05:54:05 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Did anyone see the Sharks Academy laden Madibaz receive an absolute schooling at the hands of Pukke (I see James Small is assistant coach to Robert du Preez).

    I hope these players are former Sharks academy players, and not current?

  • Comment 36, posted at 25.02.14 05:59:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 36) : when did Small retire, 97/98, lets hope he still has something to offer. Weird coming back after such a lengthy break, now a days the guys are in the SSport studios the weekend after they retire.

  • Comment 37, posted at 25.02.14 06:55:06 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 37) : He looked pretty darn intense out there…really taking his assistant coaching role serious – and I hope he does well, it is strange that he’s been under wraps for all these years.

  • Comment 38, posted at 25.02.14 07:06:11 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I must say, looking at the bulls and streamers and how they are going backwards, and looking at what happened to the Lions, I guess Brian van Zyl really did quite well with the Sharks, he just lacked the vision to take us to the next level.

    The other two franchises are being (mis)managed into the ground. We seem to be taking the next step up, instead of breaking the whole staircase down and starting from scratch.

  • Comment 39, posted at 25.02.14 07:27:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 34) : Read properly mate, I said that those names I posted are players that are either not available at the moment, injured, or just not in the squad selected. For example if JPP comes back chances are Sbura Sithole will move down to the VC squad etc.

    I was merely pointing out the depth πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 40, posted at 25.02.14 22:35:15 by sharks_lover Reply
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