Durban — Rising rugby star Dylan Richardson is set to be named in the Scotland squad for their imminent November internationals but the good news is that while he will be lost to the Springboks, he is to remain at the Sharks for some time to come.
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has had his eye on Richardson ever since discovering he has Scottish ancestry, and it is understood that he will be included in the Scottish squad for their autumn series of matches against the southern hemisphere tourists — including the Boks on November 13.
The 22-year-old is one of the hottest properties in South African rugby because of his ability to excel at both hooker and openside flank.
He was a member of the SA Under-20 team that won bronze at the World Championship in Argentina in 2019 while current Sharks coach Sean Everitt coached the stocky Richardson in the undefeated Sharks Under-19 team that won their division with ease in 2018.
That team also boasted current Sharks in Thaakir Abrahams, Sanele Nohamba, Phepsi Buthelezi, Celimpilo Gumede, Jaden Hendrikse, Murray Koster and Boeta Chamberlain.
So far, Richardson does not appear to be on the Springbok radar of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, hence his positive reaction to the interest from Townsend, who has a relationship with the Sharks since playing a season in Durban (2004).
Townsend, a former British and Irish Lion, was the flyhalf in the Sharks team of that year that also boasted Eduard Coetzee at prop, and the latter — the current CEO of the Sharks — has confirmed that they have been discussing Richardson’s future.
Scotland have had a number of South Africa-born players in their ranks since rugby turned professional and currently have in their squad British and Irish Lions star Duhan van der Merwe plus props Ollie Kebble and WP Nel, and flyhalf Jaco van der Walt.
Richardson joined the Sharks straight from KZN school Kearsney College and in May this year signed a contract extension to 2024.
The good relationship between Townsend and Coetzee is to allow Richardson to have the best of both worlds — he can remain in Durban playing for the Sharks while enjoying an international career with Scotland.