Hooker quits Sharks to join Cheetahs

2009-11-06 00:00

THE Sharks have released robust hooker Skipper Badenhorst and the 30-year-old has been signed by the Free State Cheetahs.

Badenhorst, who has played in 138 Currie Cup matches for the Falcons, Pumas and Sharks, has proved a valuable and experienced performer for the Sharks in recent seasons, particularly in the Currie Cup when Springbok hookers John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis were away on international duty.

Badenhorst’s contract with the Sharks ended this season and CEO Brian van Zyl confirmed yesterday that the hooker has been released.

The Sharks renewed Bismarck du Plessis’ contract last month and they have the 24-year-old Craig Burden as their number two hooker with Smit, now playing on the tighthead, providing further back-up.

Badenhorst, a no-nonsense forward and uncompromising tackler, played 20 Super 14 games for the Sharks.

He has been signed by the Cheetahs on a two-year deal as a replacement for Richardt Strauss, who has joined Irish club Leinster.

Adriaan Strauss is certain to be the Cheetahs’ first-choice hooker with Badenhorst vying with Griquas hooker Rayno Barnes for a place in the Super 14 match day squad.

Van Zyl also confirmed that flyhalf Len Olivier has been released by the Sharks and will be joining French Club Montauban.

The 23-year-old Olivier was signed from the Falcons last year, but failed to make the expected impact in Durban and the Sharks used Monty Dumond and Guy Cronje as their back-up at flyhalf ahead of him.

Van Zyl denied a report that Dumond has signed to play Super 14 with the Cheetahs next year and said the flyhalf is under contract to the Sharks.

Van Zyl also rubbished reports that the Sharks have attempted to buy Bok flank Heinrich Brüssow out of his contract with the Cheetahs.

“Brüssow is under contract to the Cheetahs and we have not approached him,” he said. “If we did, we would be in trouble with SA Rugby for talking to a player already contracted,” he added.

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