On his way to Japan

2014-04-17 00:00

JEAN Deysel is leaving the Sharks for the lure of the yen.

The Sharks announced yesterday that the big flanker would be leaving the franchise at the end of the current Super Rugby season to join Japanese top league club Toyota Verblitz on a two-year deal to join fellow loose forward Keegan Daniel in the Far East.

Deysel, who was named as one of three vice captains by coach Jake White at the beginning of the season, has been slugging it out for a starting place in the team with Willem Alberts, with the latter winning the battle.

But with the Sharks experiencing a crisis at lock, Alberts’s temporary move to the second row has seen Deysel start the last two games.

In a statement released by the Sharks yesterday, Deysel said the decision to leave the franchise he joined in 2008 was one of his “toughest decisions yet”.

“I’ve learnt so much from this place, and I am eternally grateful to this franchise for their belief, support and guidance over the years,” Deysel said.

“Moving abroad presents a new opportunity for my family, and [I’d like] to experience a new culture and way of life. The memories of this franchise, and most importantly the friendships I have made along the way, will be with me forever,” he said.

Deysel is expected to start this weekend when the Sharks take on the free- scoring Cheetahs at King’s Park and he is expecting a tough encounter come Saturday.

“It’s been a while since I’ve started. I’ve had two starts in a row, so I’m really enjoying it. I’m still settling down a little bit. I’m really enjoying it and I’m just trying to get as much as I can out of the starts they give me.”

While he was expecting a tough battle up front against the Cheetahs, Deysel was confident they had a strong pack that would be able to go toe-to-toe against the Cheetahs who will want to front up after losing their last game to the Crusaders.

“Home derbies are the toughest ones to play because South Africans sides pride themselves in their pack of forwards, and so do we, so that’s normally the toughest competition,” he said.

“We’ve got a great pack of forwards, from number one to eight. I won’t say we’ll overpower every pack that comes here, but we have a strong pack and we pride ourselves on it every day we train. It’s going to be a physical battle up front and, like I said, it normally is with South African derbies.”

The Cheetahs have struggled in defence and their breakdown has been particularly poor, especially against the Crusaders, where they gave away 10 turnovers, four of which resulted in tries. But Deysel said it was important that they didn’t underestimate them.

With world-renowned Springbok fetcher Heinrich Brüssow back in the side after three months on the sidelines due to injury, the Cheetahs’ breakdown should see a vast improvement.

“Heinrich will have a big influence on their breakdown. The breakdown has become very important in Super Rugby. That’s where you can generate slow ball and you are allowed to contest harder than you were in previous seasons, so the breakdown is going to be a massive thing for us on the weekend, as for them.

“[Brüssow’s return] will have a massive impact. Not just for Heinrich being back, but the team as a whole. Heinrich is a brilliant player and if they know he’s in the team, it’ll lift their spirits. He’s a great player, so it’s going to be good for them,” he said.

For the first time this season, King’s Park will enjoy a 3 pm afternoon kick-off.


Predicted Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Paul Jordaan, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Frans Steyn, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5.Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1.Tendai Mtawarira. Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Tim Swiel, 23. SP Marais

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen. Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Riaan Smith, 23 Raymond Rhule.

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