Sharks: Straeuli confirms move

2013-11-02 00:00

IT has taken a couple of weeks, but Rudolf Straeuli has finally confirmed that he is leaving the Sharks to take up a position of general manager at the Golden Lions.

Straeuli first joined the Sharks as coach in 2000 before leaving to take over the Springboks in 2002. He rejoined the Sharks in 2005 as commercial manager.

Straeuli, who was under contract with the Sharks until the end of the next year but had gained an early release from CEO John Smit, told The Witness in mid-October that he was considering two approaches, one from the Golden Lions and the other a commercial offer.

But the former Springbok No 8, who saw action in the 1995 World Cup final at Ellis Park, said he opted to return to the Lions where he spent time as a player.

“The Lions have shown true character and strength to win back their Super Rugby status this year. I see my new position as a unique opportunity for the two unions [the Lions and Sharks] to work together.

“I leave the Sharks with the fondest of memories and I wish John Smit and the squad the very best for the years ahead.”

Smit yesterday paid tribute to Straeuli.

“We thank Rudolf for his commitment and dedication to the Sharks over the period of 13 years. He has been an influential figure at the Sharks and we wish him the very best in his new venture.”

Straeuli has been responsible for identifying and contracting local and international players for the Sharks and, by ensuring that all the current players — apart from Louis Ludik — have signed for 2014, he has left the franchise in a healthy position.

He follows on the heels of former CEO Brian van Zyl, head coach John Plumtree and his assistants Grant Bashford and Hugh Reece-Edwards in leaving the Sharks.

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