Sharks stick with Botha for 2018

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 25 Jan 2018 at 16:22
Tagged with : ,

Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has shown faith in Ruan Botha – who did a superb job leading the side in Currie Cup last year – and named the big lock as captain of the 45-man Super Rugby squad announced earlier today.

Comprising 25 forwards and 20 backs, including 12 capped Springboks, the squad has a familiar look to it, with good continuity from from 2018 and only a handful of players coming in for the first time – these include newly-acquired backline signings Robert du Preez Junior, Makezole Mapimpi and Leolin Zas. A number of young players have made the step up as well – including the likes of utility bak Courtney Winnaar, scrumhalf Grant Williams and prop Khuta Mchunu.

Coenie Oosthuizen has been named in the squad – presumably just in case he makes a miraculous recovery in time to perhaps play in a knock-out game or two later in the season. It is, however, unlikely that he’ll feature, with du Preez dropping the additional bombshell that Thomas du Toit will only play at tighthead this year.

Here is the 2018 Super Rugby squad:

Props: Coenie Oosthuizen, Beast Mtawarira, Mzamo Majola, Juan Schoeman, Khuta Mchunu, Ross Geldenhuys, John-Hubert Meyer, Thomas du Toit
Hookers: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Akker van der Merwe, Franco Marais, Kerron van Vuuren
Locks: Ruan Botha, Gideon Koegelenberg, Stephan Lewies, Tyler Paul, Hyron Andrews, Jean Droste
Loose Forwards: Daniel du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Keegan Daniel, Philip van der Walt, Tera Mtembu, Wian Vosloo, Jacques Vermeulen
Scrumhalves: Louis Schreuder, Cameron Wright, Michael Claassens, Grant Williams
Flyhalves: Robert du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Garth April
Centres: Marius Louw, Jeremy Ward, Andre Esterhuizen, Luhanyo Am, Tristan Blewett, Johan Deysel
Wings: Leolin Zas, Sbusiso Nkosi, Kobus van Wyk, Makezole Mapimpi
Fullbacks: Lwazi Mvovo, Courtney Winnaar, Rhyno Smith


  • Good captain choice. Overall good squad i believe. I know many prefer DuToit as a loosehead but thinking about this its a good decision for him to focus on tighthead as it will hopefully mean he drops a few kgs (which he needs to) and becomes a bit trimmer and stronger. So lets see how it goes.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.01.18 16:26:38 by SheldonK Reply
  • Apologies for the radio silence, guys. I’m in the US this week

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.01.18 16:28:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • Glad about this decision. Up until the final, the Sharks were the best team in the Currie Cup with Botha as Captain. I hope this is the year he bursts onto the national scene as well.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.01.18 16:29:08 by boertjie101 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Watching NFL then Rob 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.01.18 16:30:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • Good depth in the midfield, not superstars on paper (the backup boys), but quality players the lot of them. Lwazi chosen as an out and out Fullback, but quite thin in that department. Up front a tad worried too, but all in all a good squad of players.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.01.18 17:33:22 by Richard Reply

  • Agree. Good choice. Great captain hard worker committed. A keeper. .

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.01.18 17:56:52 by coolfusion Reply

  • Botha: good stuff…
    Big Tom: I’ll withhold comment and see how he goes. Personally I would like to see him used at loosehead occasionally to help with rotation.
    Midfield: loving it!

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.01.18 18:09:38 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • So I don’t buy into how enigmatic or inspirational lions are. Yes best of a declining or bad bunch but not really all that. I also believe sharks are on the right path to recovery maybe not as flashy but more sustainable. There. Now pull me apart…

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.01.18 18:24:24 by coolfusion Reply

  • Botha: Deserves to be cap, will def start at 5

    Squad: when broken down like that, looks great, Wp have similar depth at loose forward to us, but we have the experience and guys in their prime, were as they have world class guys like carr and kolisi, with lots of young guns that all came through at once in Wiese, Coatzee, Van dyk etc

    Glad to see Ryno smith named in our squad his a excellent fullback

    Hopefully everyone came back from japan in a condition we can manage.

    Exciting times

    Tank to TH means: Beast Mtawarira, Mzamo Majola, Juan Schoeman all get some game time at LH.

    which side of the scrum does Khuta Mchunu pack down on ?

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.01.18 18:34:06 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 8) : Lions have to struggle at some point, we will only know when the season gets going, the intrigue relates to can they continue to be the best sa team after so many small disruptions to the squad: change of coaching staff, lose of players, bok squad physical and mental fatigue, having a target on your back, game plan adjustments etc, but if they have a fit whitely it will make all the difference, his likely to be refreshed.

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.01.18 18:39:36 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 10) : Yes. Hence my veiled allusion to sustainability.

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.01.18 19:02:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : Independent of the lions on paper we are definitely on the right track on the squad looks ideal in relation to the resources we currently have, cant wait for the season to kick off.

    the Super Rugby squad has been announced, But do we know who will start and come off the bench for us against the bulls this weekend

    And will the game be broadcast ?

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.01.18 19:16:57 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Count your blessings, you could have been stuck in Davos with all those snow(flakes). 😈

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.01.18 19:33:50 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Grant Williams, anybody?

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.01.18 19:41:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 14) : Promising young scrummie, thats about all I know about him, likely in the squad to learn, will probibly play mostly in the super sport rugby challenge.

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.01.18 21:11:18 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 8) : @revolverocelot (Comment 10) : yes it would be interesting to see how they go without Akkers Snr and a couple of their star players. If they can manage the same level of play this season and next season then we must admit they have really good structures. Sharks are for sure on the right track just hope they can keep this team together for anothe couple of seasons!

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.01.18 21:12:17 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Interesting thing is that i dont see Ben10 anywhere!

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.01.18 22:10:09 by Dunx Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 17) : At the Kings with S’bura Sithole

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.01.18 22:20:42 by Baylion Reply

  • @JD (Comment 16) : An interesting year ahead for sure, not only because of the new coaches and the loss of some players through transfers (Faf, Akker and Ackers Jnr) and injury (Jaco Kriel, Commies and Skosan).

    There are strong rumours that the Lions will be losing a number of players at the end of the season (Jaco Kriel and RJvR the two who have been in the media) and Swys will have to bring through some of the youngsters he blooded during the Currie Cup to not only cover for injuries but also to develop them for the future

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.01.18 22:31:21 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 19) : Yeah I saw that too, SA rugby losing out bad but we cannot blame the youngsters for seeking a better future, specially considering how things are in the country, Skosan no loss but eish Kriel and RJvR will be huge loses.

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.01.18 22:34:23 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 13) : Davos is madness at present. But the slopes are empty

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.01.18 22:38:17 by durbsguy Reply

  • Possible Lions team to play the Sharks in first game: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
    16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Howard Mnisi/Sylvian Mahuza

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.01.18 22:48:03 by Baylion Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 17) : dont worry though, like mzamo majola was ben is only on loan and we can recall him if needed.

    sithole was a permanent move to the kings as far as I know, and he was doing well until he got injured :(.

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.01.18 23:25:29 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 22) : heres hoping Ruan Dreyer brings his springbok form 🙂

    decent team though, will be a close game

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.01.18 23:29:03 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @boertjie101 (Comment 3) : It wouldn’t be a bad selection, that said the queue is long, and getting longer. A host of young guns are coming through the ranks. All will be hoping for a look in. Lock is definitely an area, where the boks have no shortage of potential.

    Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman, Gideon Koeglenberg, JD Schickerling, being the obvious candidates. Then guys like JJ van der Mescht, Rueben van Heerden, Ruben Schoeman, JP du Preez, and Ewan Coetzee.

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.01.18 07:17:29 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Don’t know how much of an issue the transformation stipulations are going to be, but if they still looking at 50% in the match day 23, the Sharks might be left a bit thin, most are wings? This should not even be an issue, but this SA.
    Beast, Franco, Thomas, Lewies, Botha, Vermeulen, vd Walt, Dan, Schreuder, R du P, Mapimpi, AE, Am, Nkosi, Mvovo

    So that is 4/15
    Bench: Chilli, Schoeman, Meyer, Koegies, Vosloo, Daniels, Wright, Bosch

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.01.18 07:38:43 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 12) : Nope I have also been wondering by when they will announce their playing squad and larger squad. Some NZ teams already announced their SR squads end of November last year.

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.01.18 07:41:00 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 22) : Thats a good starting lineup, bench prob a bit inexperienced but that will happen to most teams. Hoping for some injury free seasons for a number of the top SA Players

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.01.18 08:05:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • So my semi revised Sharks lineup:
    1. Beast 2. Marais 3. DuToit 4. Botha 5. Lewies 6. Van der walt 7. Vermuelen 8. D DuPreez 9. Schreuder 10. DuPreez 11. Nkosi 12. Esterhuizen 13. Am 14. Mapimpi 15. Bosch
    Bench: Schoeman, Akker, Meyer, Paul, Daniel, Claasens, Ward, Mvovo

    Bench makeup could change as there some quality having to be left out.

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.01.18 08:13:09 by SheldonK Reply

  • Anyone know if its the whole squad travelling to Polokwane to face the Bulls tomorrow?

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.01.18 10:49:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 30) : I am talking under correction but i think it is the whole squad minus the injured players and the players still kin Japan. These are the games where they rotate during the game and try using all the players,

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.01.18 11:30:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 31) : Cool thanks. I wonder which team will read too much into their preseason matches this year and proclaim themselves likely winners or wooden spoonists already…

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.01.18 11:54:28 by SheldonK Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 31) : Everyone from Japan is now back

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.01.18 12:06:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 26) : Please move away from this topic. Thanks.

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.01.18 12:07:07 by robdylan Reply
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