Sharks reveal their captains for title defence
CURRIE CUP NEWS: New coach Sean Everitt has revealed that the Sharks will have co-captains for their title defence this season.
They start the defence of the title – which they won by beating Western Province in the Final at Newlands last year – when they host Griquas in Durban on Friday.
Lubabalo Mtembu and Jeremy Ward will co-captain the Sharks in the 2019 Currie Cup campaign.
In a media statement, the Sharks said these two players “embody their values”, have a strong work ethic.
“Together they will work in unison to rally a group of talented players in a shortened competition,” the statement said.
Mtembu is no stranger to the captaincy role, having captained the Sharks in the Super Rugby and Currie Cup previously.
He is a respected team man and will provide the necessary mentorship and support to Ward, who himself has always displayed strong leadership qualities – having captained the South African Under-20 team at the World Championship in 2016.
Super Rugby captain Louis Schreuder has a broken toe and will miss the first few matches of the competition, therefore could not be considered.
“The decision to go with co-captains will ensure leadership continuity on the field of play at all times,” new coach Sean Everitt said.
“Both these players understand our diverse team culture and where we are heading collectively.
“More importantly they have the respect of the team and are natural leaders.
“I am a firm believer in the philosophy that every player should be a leader in their respective positions, however, you do need your captain to be a voice of reason and someone with a calm head that the team can look to for direction during pressure situations.
“We have this in Tera and Jeremy.”
Everitt also announced an exciting 39-man squad for the Currie Cup competition.
Andrew Evans and Tyler Paul have not been included, due to their current rehabilitation from long-term injuries.
Veteran Springbok JP Pietersen makes a welcome return to Durban, after spending some time abroad.
Pietersen has been contracted until Currie Cup 2020, whereafter he will be developed within the age-group system for a future coaching role.
“I am excited to be back home and to be part of a familiar Sharks set-up. The Sharks have a group of talented young players in the system and I look forward to providing a mentorship role to these young players and playing in the black and white jersey once again,” said Pietersen.
“The prospect of being upskilled within the Sharks coaching development ranks is one that excites me. I am grateful for the opportunity and I am eager to give back to the game and more especially a team that believed in me and my potential.”
FORWARDS: Bandisa Ndlovu, Coenie Oosthuizen, Craig Burden, Cullen Collopy, Dylan Richardson, Fezo Mbatha, Gideon Koegelenberg, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Kerron van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu, Kwanda Dimaza, Luke Stringer, Michael Meyer, Mzamo Majola, Phepsi Buthelezi, Ruben van Heerden, Tera Mtembu (captain).
BACKS: Aphelele Fassi, Boeta Chamberlain, Cameron Wright, Curwin Bosch, Grant Williams, Ilunga Mukendi, Inny Radebe, Jeremy Ward (captain), JP Pietersen, Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas, Louis Schreuder, Lwazi Mvovo, Marius Louw, Muller du Plessis, Murray Koster, Rhyno Smith, Sanele Nohamba.