Sharks still waiting for Stormers star's English test
PREMIERSHIP NEWS: Cobus Wiese remains on the Sale Sharks’ team list, while he awaits an opportunity to pass an English test.
The Sharks on Tuesday confirmed their senior playing roster for the remainder of the 2019/20 season and beyond.
It included Wiese – who is waiting to satisfy the criteria for his visa – and nine other South Africans.
Wiese must visit an English government office in South Africa to prove his command of English language.
However, the COVID-19 lockdown means those offices are currently closed and the 23-year-old former South African Under-20 player has no alternative but to wait for the chance to take his test.
“The Cobus deal is done, but there are no English test offices open in South Africa at the moment,” Director of Rugby Steve Diamond recently told RugbyPass.
Wiese’s contract kicked in on July 1 and the Sharks listed him in their squad with a simple rider: Subject to Visa.
Wiese, who can play lock or flank, will join fellow South Africans Jono Ross, Francois de Klerk, Lodewyk de Jager, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Armand van der Merwe, Coenie Oosthuizen and the Du Preez brothers – Rob, Dan and Jean-Luc.
The squad announcement follows the announcement from the Professional Game Board, allowing Premiership Rugby’s clubs to progress into stage two of the return to play protocols.
Diamond said he is proud of the squad’s attitude and continued development during the recent uncertain period surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and hopes the Sharks can return to the form they demonstrated earlier in the season, Steve said:
“The lads have really shown their togetherness in recent times and that has helped everyone at the club adapt and overcome the unique challenges we have faced during the pandemic,” Diamond said.
“I’m proud of the squad we’ve built, and we all share the same ambition to finish the season as strongly as possible.
“It has been fantastic to welcome Sam Hill to Carrington this week, along with the imminent arrival of Cobus Wiese.
“I’m sure the squad we have put together will push us even closer to achieving our goals.
“We’re currently planning to run with a 33-player squad, complimented by an exceptionally talented group of senior academy players.
“The lads are chomping at the bit to get back to rugby and we’re all looking forward to resuming the season as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The Sharks also confirmed the group of players who will leaving the club following the completion of their contracts this season.
They are Nic Dolly, Rob Webber, Joe Jones, Bryn Evans, Rouban Birch, Ciaran Booth, Mark Wilson, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Sam Dugdale, Matt Sturgess.
Sale Sharks squad
Forwards: Ross Harrison, Valery Morozov, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Will-Griff John, Armand van der Merwe, Curtis Langdon, Cameron Nield, Lodewyk De Jager, Josh Beaumont, James Phillips, Matt Postlethwaite, Cobus Wiese (Subject to Visa), Ben Curry, Tom Curry, Jono Ross, Jean-Luc du Preez, Daniel du Preez.
Backs: Francois de Klerk, Will Cliff, Gus Warr, Kieran Wilkinson, Robert du Preez, AJ MacGinty, Sam James, Luke James, Sam Hill, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Denny Solomona, Marland Yarde, Byron McGuigan, Arron Reed, Simon Hammersley.