CAPE TOWN – The Sharks have shown that they mean business for Super Rugby next year after announcing the signings of wing Makazole Mapimpi and Robert du Preez on Friday.
Both were on the cards over the last few months, but confirmation from the Durban-based union showed that the disappointment of the 2017 Super Rugby season has spurred on coach Robert du Preez and chief executive Gary Teichmann.
The Sharks ended eighth on the overall log on 42 points, and lost 23-21 to the Lions at Ellis Park in the quarter-finals.
Then, despite being favourites in the Currie Cup final, they were upstaged by Western Province 33-21 at Kings Park last weekend.
Following the retirement of veteran wing Odwa Ndungane – who played a total of 251 matches for the union – the prolific Mapimpi will move from the Cheetahs to the Sharks, where he could strike up a sensational partnership with Sbu Nkosi out wide.
But it is unclear when Mapimpi will join the squad, as he was named in the Cheetahs line-up for the PRO14 clash against Connacht in Galway on Saturday night.
The former Southern Kings flyer has been in terrific form in the PRO14 and Currie Cup, and seemingly can’t stop scoring tries. That is why his omission from the Springbok squad for the European tour is hard to understand, as Mapimpi is devastating on attack and doesn’t shirk his defensive duties either.
WP flyhalf Du Preez will join his dad and brothers Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez in Durban, but he will face a stern test in taking the No 10 jersey off Springbok Curwin Bosch.