Swiel and Oosthuizen moving to Durban

2013-11-04 00:00

THE Sharks have yet to confirm the signings, but two of South Africa’s brightest prospects, Western Province U21 flyhalf Tim Swiel and Brumbies lock Etienne Oosthuizen, are moving to Durban.

The 20-year-old Swiel, a product of Bishops in Cape Town and a former SA Schools flyhalf, spearheaded Province’s charge to the national U21 title this year and has reportedly impressed Jake White, the Sharks’ new director of coaching.

WP were desperate to hang on to Swiel, who was the leading points-scorer (180) in this year’s U21 competition, but he received a far more lucrative offer to move to Durban and was apparently told he would be part of the Sharks’ plans for 2014.

Swiel also played Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup rugby for Western Province this year.

Swiel, born in Taunton, is a British passport holder and, because he wants to keep his international options open, he withdrew from the SA U20 squad for the World Cup this year.

There will be no shortage of young flyhalf back-up to Pat Lambie at the Sharks in Fred Zeilinga, Rob du Preez (Sharks U21), Jean-Luc du Plessis (Sharks U19), who is the talented son of Bok wing Carel, and now Swiel.

The 20-year-old Oosthuizen was signed by White in 2012 when he was coaching the Brumbies.

The two-metre tall, 120 kg lock first played Super Rugby for the Lions as a teenager in 2012 before being poached by White in Canberra. He had three Super Rugby outings for the successful Brumbies franchise this season and was in the team that gained a historic win over the British and Irish Lions. Citing homesickness, Oosthuizen was recently released a year early by the Brumbies and he has now followed White to Durban.

The Sharks, who battled in the second row at times this season, now have the cupboard crowded with young locks in Pieter-Steph du Toit, Anton Bresler (once he is over his injury), Peet Marais, Stephan Lewies, Edwin Hewitt and Oosthuizen along with veteran Springbok Marco Wentzel once he is back to full fitness.

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