Sharks lose Rhodes, Cilliersto Lions

2010-10-27 00:00

THE Lions failed in their efforts to sign Springboks John Smit and JP Pietersen, but they have contracted young prop Patric Cilliers and big flank Michael Rhodes for next year.

The two young forwards, both products of Michaelhouse, helped the Sharks reach this year’s Currie Cup final, and CEO Brian van Zyl confirmed yesterday that budgetary considerations had resulted in the two not being offered new contracts.

Cilliers (23), a mobile prop, and the ball-carrying Rhodes (22) provided excellent back-up for the Sharks when injury and Springbok commitments forced coach John Plumtree to dig into the reserves.

The Sharks have contracted Springbok props in Beast Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis and John Smit, along with Wiehahn Herbst, Eugene van Staden and a number of talented U21 front-rowers, while Rhodes was vying with backrow forwards Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Jean Deysel and Ryan Kankowski for a position in the squad.

The Sharks have signed all their senior players, although scrumhalf Rory Kockott has still to decide on his future. Kockott has lost his place to Charl McLeod this season and the Sharks have also signed Western Province scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman for next year.

Among the players who will join the Sharks at the end of the year are Bulls flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Springbok and Free State centre Meyer Bosman and Hoffman.

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