Sharks sign Lionel Cronje on loan for Currie Cup
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DURBAN – The Sharks have beefed up their flyhalf stocks for the Currie Cup by loaning the experienced Lionel Cronje from Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.
The 32-year-old played for the Sharks in 2014 and 2015 before returning to his native eastern cape to play for the Southern Kings. In 2017 he moved to Verblitz — he played there under Jake White — where he has been ever since.
South African rugby is about to enter a very busy period, with the Currie Cup beginning immediately after the Rainbow Cup final and it will run concurrently with the tour of the British and Irish Lions; plus the Sharks will lose a number of players to the tournament involving the SA Under-20 team, so coach Sean Everitt wants more hands on deck.
Rugby players do not come more journeyed than Cronje. Since his first-class debut in 2009 for Western Province, he has gone on to play for the Cheetahs, Bulls, Lions and Sharks; and has even squeezed in a short stint at the Brumbies (also under White — who obviously rates him) before finding a home in Japan.
Cronje was rated highly at school at Queens College and in 2009 played four matches for the SA Under-20 team. In 2017 he made two appearances for the SA A team.