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Siya Kolisi extends contract with Sharks by whopping five years

Siya Kolisi has extended his contract at the Sharks by another five years. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Siya Kolisi has extended his contract at the Sharks by another five years. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Published May 20, 2022

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Johannesburg - If Siya Kolisi dragged his heels up to Durban from Cape Town last year, he has now thrown his lot in with the Sharks — boots and all! — by extending his contract by a jaw-dropping five years.

The Springbok captain was a Stormer to the core, having played for the Cape team since finishing school at Grey High in Port Elizabeth, but then came the Sharks’ amalgamation with a New York-based consortium, including entertainment giants Roc Nation, and with Kolsi on their books, he was steered towards Hollywoodbets Kings Park, as was Bongi Mbonambi a little later, for the same reason.

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Kolisi’s commitment to the Sharks completes a week in which two other key Springboks pinned their colours to the Sharks’ mast pretty much until their the end of their careers, certainly in the case of Makazole Mapimpi, who has signed on for three more years and possibly for Lukhanyo Am, who will also be a Shark for three more years.

Try-scoring machine Mapimpi turns 32 in July and as a wing, it is doubtful that he will play past 35 while Am turns 29 in November, and at age 31/32 when his new contract ends, he could still have some good rugby in him.

ALSO READ: Wales coach Wayne Pivac feeling the pressure ahead of Springbok series

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Mapimpi has already been a fantastic buy for the Sharks, having scored some sensational tries since joining them from the Cheetahs in 2018.

The long-term securing of the vastly experienced Kolisi, Am, and Mapimpi indicates that the Sharks are as much about consolidation as they are about new recruitment.

Another colossal Springbok who could end his playing days in Durban is Eben Etzebeth. The 30-year-old becomes a Shark in July after his career at Toulon ends next month, but it might be a while before he is seen in the black and white. He goes straight into Springbok duty against Wales in July, and with the Rugby Championship following soon after, he might only debut for the Sharks towards the end of the year.

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In a busy period for the Sharks’ recruitment department, on Monday it was announced that Lionel Cronje is returning to the Sharks for a third stint. The 32-year-year spent a season in Durban under Jake White in 2014, and then last year came to the Sharks on loan from Toyota Verblitz but to the disappointment of both parties, he had to return to the Japanese club.

But now that his contract there has concluded, the Sharks have secured him for three years. Cronje was playing well when on loan last year and he will turn the heat up on Curwin Bosch for the No 10 jersey.

The news on Cronje was quickly followed up with confirmation of a number of contract extensions for locks Reniel Hugo and Emile van Heerden, prop Dian Bleuler, fullback Anthony Volmink and scrumhalf Grant Williams.

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Of course, let us not forget that this frenzy of Sharks signings began with a raid on the Lions’ den that has left their CEO Rudolf Straeuli fuming that he is no longer to have the services of red-hot flanker Vincent Tshituka and strongman prop Carlu Sadie, while a former Lion, Rohan Janse van Rensburg comes to the Sharks via the Sale Sharks of Manchester.

But it hasn’t been all incoming at the Sharks, with some players having to make way for the new recruits. A big loss is the hard-working centre Marius Louw, who despite his energy and work ethic does not have the physical dimensions the Sharks want at inside centre since the loss of blockbusting Andre Esterhuizen went to London Harlequins.

Louw goes to the Lions, as does scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, who has had a fall from grace at the Sharks. He was coach Sean Everitt’s No1 choice for some time, but the former DHS pupil and Sharks Under-19  general descended down the pecking order behind Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams.

Big Ruben van Heerden is also leaving and Exeter Chiefs will hopefully help the former SA Under-20 lock to fulfil his rich potential. The Sharks invested plenty into the 25-year-old and it is a pity he is seen as surplus to requirements.

IOL sport

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