Sykes back to beef up Sharks

2012-01-25 00:00

FORMER Springbok lock Steven Sykes is returning to Durban from Ireland and will provide the Sharks with a massive boost for the Super Rugby competition.

The 27-year-old Sykes left the Sharks after last year’s Super Rugby competition to join Leinster. But there were whispers last month that the burly lock was missing the warmth of Durban and yesterday Sharks coach John Plumtree confirmed his return.

Rich in experience after 130 games for the Sharks, the no-nonsense Sykes will add an abrasive edge to the pack which has suffered since losing him, Johann Muller and Gerhard Mostert to European clubs.

Plumtree was delighted that he would have Sykes back to beef up the pack.

“As soon as I heard that he wanted to come back home, I was really interested,” said Plumtree. “A player of his calibre is vital because of the experience he offers us, especially in this competition.”

Plumtree said that the Sharks now had the right mix in the second-row, with Sykes joining a number of emerging young locks in the squad.

“We have some good young locks coming through, but Super Rugby is a really tough competition, a long one, and having his experience in the second row is going to be really valuable. It also adds a little more competition for places.”

Plumtree added that the type of player he is will complement the side nicely.

“He has that physical nature to his game. He also has a number of campaigns under the belt and that is great for leadership in the pack.”

While Ross Skeate, after his excellent Currie Cup campaign last year, will compete with lineout specialist Alistair Hargreaves for the No 5 jersey, Sykes is the likely first-choice No 4 lock with Anton Bresler and Jandre Marais providing options.

Sykes was released from his Leinster contract after just six months.

Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Stareuli also confirmed yesterday that all the franchise’s senior Springboks had signed new contracts.

“We have secured all the good young players and Springboks. None of them are leaving. We may be announcing the signing of a couple of others in the days ahead,” he added.

The Sharks have an internal trial game next weekend, meet the Currie Cup First Division champions Boland on February 10 at Kings Park and then play Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth a week later.

They open their Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls at Loftus on February 24.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.