Mostert leaves Sharks to join Stade Francais

2011-07-07 00:00

WITH blossoming lock Gerhard Mostert (26) leaving Durban to join Stade Francais, the Sharks will start the defence of their Currie Cup title without seven of their regular tight forwards.

Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl confirmed yesterday that Mostert had been granted an early release from his contract and will be moving to France.

Mostert, who has battled injury and inconsistent form since moving to Durban from Johannesburg last year, showed encouraging form in the final weeks of Super Rugby.

“We had him under contract until the end of the season [October] but he wanted to join Stade Francais and so we released him. We don’t want to force players to stay if they want to move and we were paid a transfer fee,” said Van Zyl.

The Sharks have also lost Steven Sykes to Leinster. He has signed a three-year contract with the Irish club. “We won’t be looking to sign any new locks. We still have Ross Skeate and Alistair Hargreaves and we want to develop young locks like Anton Bresler and Jandre Marais,” added Van Zyl.

Hargreaves seems certain to miss at least the early weeks of the Currie Cup. With senior Test second-rowers Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Andries Bekker ruled out of the overseas leg of the Tri-Nations, it seems certain that Hargreaves will be included in the watered-down Springbok tour squad.

The Sharks will also be without four front-rowers in John Smit, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira, who all seem certain to see out the rest of the year with the Springboks.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said,“It is tough when you invest in players like Gerhard and then he moves on but that’s the modern game. It’s a blow with Steven Sykes also going overseas and we have lost a first-choice pair of locks. But it is a chance to develop the young talent and that’s what we will be doing in the Currie Cup.”

Plumtree said that flank Willem Alberts had aggravated a shoulder injury in the Super Rugby quarter-final against the Crusaders.

“Willem will have a six-week break now and we hope that sorts out the problem. If it doesn’t, he faces surgery and he could miss the World Cup,” he said.

The Sharks coach said that the shoulder injury was particularly inhibiting for Alberts, a physical, hard-driving forward, and his rugby had lost its intensity in the second-half of the season as a result.

The Sharks, said Plumtree, would be sending a young, largely development squad to George for the compulsory friendly against SWD tomorrow evening (7 pm kick-off).

The Sharks open their Currie Cup defence against the Blue Bulls in Durban next weekend.

“We are resting the players who were heavily involved in Super Rugby. It is perhaps not ideal, but they have all had plenty of rugby over the last five months,” said Plumtree.

Also not travelling to George is former Bok centre Marius Joubert, who joined the Sharks at practice this week after a lengthy season of club rugby in France, and flyhalf Frederic Michalak.

“We’ll only know this weekend [when the Bok Tri-Nations tour squad is named] who we will have available to play the Bulls.”

Included in the side for George are Anton Bresler, Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst, Craig Burden, Ross Skeate, Marcell Coetzee, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Ross Cronje, Dale Chadwick and Julian Redlinghuys, who have all played Super Rugby.

Sharks XV for George:

15. Gouws Prinsloo, 14. Mark Richards, 13. Piet Lindeque, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Sbura Sithole, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Lubabalo Mtembu, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Francois Kleinhans, 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick

Replacements

16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Julian Redelinghuys, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Sisek Jafta, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Paul Jordaan, 22. Rosko Specman

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