Why Matt is right fit for Sharks

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:42
Large matt stevens saracens

The Sharks made a "great deal" to secure the services England international and current Saracens prop Matt Stevens.

The Sharks made a "great deal" to secure the services England international and current Saracens prop Matt Stevens.

The Durban-born Stevens, who will join the Sharks in August ahead of the start of the Currie Cup competition, signed a two-year contract.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White the 31-year-old Stevens, with 39 Test caps and close to 150 Premiership games, will be a good 'teacher' for the youngsters in the Sharks set-up.

"He comes from Kearsney College and he has obviously learnt all his rugby here in this [KwaZulu-Natal] province," White told this website.

"He has never played in the Currie Cup [competition] and there is a burning desire to be part of the Currie Cup campaign.

"I think it is a great signing," the World Cup-winning former Bok coach said, adding: "He is an international, he played for the British and Irish Lions, while he can also play on both sides of the scrum."

White pointed to young players like locks Peter-Steph du Toit and Stephan Lewies, as well as loosehead prop Thomas du Toit as those who could benefit from the veteran's arrival.

"There's a lot of learning they can get from a guy like him," he told this website, adding: "For him to come to the Sharks is a great deal for us."

Of course he will add some much-needed depth to the Sharks squad at a time when their entire first-choice front row is likely to be on Springbok duty.

"With the front row that we have - Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, along with Tendai Mtawarira - he [Stevens] is a good compliment to have.

"With those guys set to be on Springbok duty later this year I have no doubt we are going to need the experience of another senior guy in the front row.

"I feel it is a very good time to get him to join the Sharks."

Sharks CEO John Smit, who played alongside Stevens at Saracens in the English Premiership, also expressed his delight with the signing.

"The versatility of Matt, [to be able to play] on both sides of the scrum, and his experience makes him a great acquisition to our squad," Smit said.

"We look forward to welcoming him to The Sharks family."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 3 3 0 0 15
Free State Cheetahs 3 3 0 0 14
Blue Bulls 3 2 0 1 10
Golden Lions 2 1 0 1 7
Boland 3 1 0 2 6
Griquas 2 1 0 1 4
Western Province 2 0 0 2 2
EP Kings 2 0 0 2 1
Pumas 2 0 0 2 1