Backing The Youth

Written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (JJR)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks on 8 Apr 2015 at 13:31
Tagged with : ,

The Sharks have experienced a lot of player movement since the new regime took over. Some player movements have been great for the union and others not so great. The squad needs to some stability and continuity going forward, especially considering the post World Cup exodus that is approaching. Backing the talent already on the books and limiting wasteful expenditure is critical to the Sharks becoming the team and brand we know it can be. 

I want to focus on the players under 26 years old that I believe The Sharks must invest in to ensure the consistent growth of Sharks rugby.

In the front row we have Dale Chadwick (SA Schools 2008),   Thomas Du Toit (SA u20 2014/15) , Ruan Kramer (SA u20 squad 2015) , Mzamo Majola (SA u20 sqaud 2015) , Marne Coetzee (SA u20 2013) , Chris De Beer , Kyle Cooper (SA u20 2009) ,  Franco Marais (SA u20 2012) and Monde Hadebe . Most of these front rowers have and will still represent South Africa at Junior level. There is no need to look for “established” players outside of the Sharks system , which would just lead to wasteful expenditure.

In the second row we have Etienne Oosthuizen  , Pieter-Steph du Toit, Stephan Lewies and Hyron Andrews (SA u20 2015). 2 Springboks and 1 Junior Springbok representative.

In the back row there is Khaya Majola (SA u20 2012) , Marcell Coetzee  , Renaldo Bothma (hopefully a permanent transfer in the near future and Namibian international) , Jean-Luc du Preez (SA U20) , Daniel du Preez (SA U20) , Tera Mtembu (SA Sevens) and Ayron Schraam (SA u20 training squad 2015). 2 international players, a Blitzbok and the rest are Junior Springbok players of past and present. Do we really need players from outside of the province?

At halfbacks we have Cobus Reinach, Stefan Ungerer (SA u20 2013) , Hanco Venter (SA U20 2013) , Cameron Wright , Pat Lambie , Fred Zeilinga and Innocent Radebe (SA Schools 2014 and SA u20 squad 2015). We have 2 Springboks, 3 Junior Springboks/SA Schools and 2 guys in Zeilinga and Wright who were desperately unlucky not to be Junior Springboks; but have proven their worth to the Union.

At Center we see Andre Esterhuizen (SA u20 2014) , Marra Louw , Paul Jordaan (SA U20 2011/12 and SA Sevens) and S’bura Sithole (SA Sevens). Great power brought by the inside centers and pace to burn at 13 with 2 Blitzbokke.

Outside back we not as stocked up as we would like; but one needs to consider that Sithole and Jordaan can cover wings as well. There is Sizo Maseko , Jaco Van Tonder and Tyler Fisher (SA u20 2013). Fisher can also play outside centre. So I would say The Sharks possibly need to develop a young Fullback to add some depth in that department.

The Sharks clearly don’t need to be spending loads of cash on players that are past their prime and average squad players. Got all you need on the books already.

I am certainly confident that these group of young men can take Sharks rugby to the very top and keep it there and I do hope the powers in charge can see it as well.


  • Yea because if international sport has shown us anything it’s that buying the best players totally doesn’t work…..

    Maybe what the Sharks should actually do is move into the professional error and hire scouts who can actually spot talent, so that when we do buy players they are not useless.

    I’m all for backing youngsters, but that should not stop us buying players, in fact I think we should do it more.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.04.15 13:40:17 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • From your lips to Pastors Employer ears,will never happen at the Sharks,it is what they should do but won’t happen

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.04.15 13:42:34 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Some good players dont always flourish in new/other teams. Example. Piet van Zyl, Riaan Viljoen, Jaco Taute, Lourens Adriaanse, Elton Jantjies (Stormers), Wynand Olivier (Bokke) etc.

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.04.15 13:49:06 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) : I am to lazy to waste my time make a what would be a very long list of players who have gone on to be amazing after changing teams, is it a perfect system? no. Just like not every youngster you back will do well. Hence the need for a good scouting system and team.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.04.15 13:52:56 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @JarsonX (Comment 3) : Even the great ones sometimes have trouble adjusting (Bryan Habana going to WP). I agree we should not buy all the players but we should buy some and grow some maybe that ratio should be investigated (75/25) but both options should be exercised. Talent is grown in many more places than just KZN or at Sharks academy. Bothma who was just mentioned in this article is a prime example so is Willem Alberts.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.04.15 13:59:56 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Seth101 (Comment 1) : How well did Michalak work out for us and he doesn’t even play SH rugby…I agree we must not throw away products from other breeding fields but we must perhaps increase the percentage grown vs percentage bought. Another thing to consider is how we spend a lot of time and energy growing guys that get poached by other unions.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.04.15 14:02:17 by coolfusion Reply

  • @JJR What about Johan Meyer in the back three. Hard working and commited player. Being wasted at the Sharks. He needs to move on and go to a union that does not choose players based on who and what your family members are ect. He has been screwed around ever since joining The Sharks.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.04.15 14:05:37 by [email protected] Reply

  • @[email protected] (Comment 7) : I have tinfoil on sale if you’re interested?

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.04.15 14:10:37 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • @Seth101 😈 😈 😈

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.04.15 14:16:59 by [email protected] Reply

  • Nice article – at least we can’t complain that we don’t have talent. Hope the powers that be realize they have a good group of youngsters that should be utilized to build an awesome team. 😉

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.04.15 14:25:05 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • Amen

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.04.15 17:55:06 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • Sharks have unfortunately been a victim of their own success. Weve had the best front row in the country for a couple of years now which means there is a limited career path for a young u20 tighthead prop for example. So even though we have good youngsters coming through we have lost alot to. The reality is these days we require 2 front rows in a squad and a third for the vodacom cup so even with the listed players, i cant see how we wont have to but players
    As much as the sharks have taken abuse for purchased players in the off season, top class s15 players are hard to come by and i though their contracting players has been quite sucessful.
    Bothma moritz and giant have been great imports.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.04.15 18:42:58 by byron Reply

  • Look, we certainly have a lot of talent around. We probably need to supplement that with some good buys. But most of all we need to sort out issues of structure, atmosphere, culture, intensity…

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.04.15 19:55:06 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • Great article and completely agree, I dont know why we fall into the trap of ‘the grass must be greener’ in terms of players from outside, we have some good solid local stock that we should invest in.

    i think it will also really help in in getting the local support back, for the ‘local’ team.

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.04.15 10:33:08 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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