Not only will the Cell C Sharks enjoy the benefits of having a settled squad in 2019, as well as the momentum of Currie Cup success in 2018, but will also take continuity as far as our team management staff goes into Vodacom Super Rugby next year.
The three-year plan, put in place for 2017 to 2019, has already started to pay dividends for the Cell C Sharks.
The last four competitions – Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup (twice) – have seen the Cell C Sharks reach the play-off stages in all four, with appearances in consecutive Currie Cup finals, the climax of which was victory over Western Province at Newlands in last month’s local rugby showpiece.
Success, more often than not, is a product of good planning, aligned with stability in playing and coaching structures, with a succession plan that fills in the gaps.
Given the continuity in playing and coaching personnel under head coach Robert du Preez, the Cell C Sharks will approach the Vodacom Super Rugby competition in 2019 with renewed confidence. We have lofty goals as a union and winning this premier competition is an ambition, we are proud to give a firm commitment to.
After a short break, the Cell C Sharks have commenced their pre-season training last Monday, in preparation for the 2019 season.
To this end, the Cell C Sharks would like to announce our 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby coaching team, which will be led by our Head Coach Robert du Preez. He will be ably assisted by Ricardo Loubscher (backline), Jaco Pienaar (forwards), Braam van Straaten (defence) as well as the new addition to our coaching staff, David Williams, who will be responsible for our attack.
David has a good coaching track record having coached at Kobe Steelers, London Irish and Bath abroad. Locally he’s had stints with the Southern Kings and was their attack coach in their stellar year in 2016, which saw them cause many upsets that year in Vodacom Super Rugby and most recently was part of the Cheetahs coaching team in the Pro14.
“We went through a thorough interview process to appoint a new attack coach and David really impressed us with his vision. He has an astute rugby brain and will add tremendous value to our attacking play. He joined us on Monday and has fitted in well”, said du Preez.
The Sharks would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dick Muir, who was appointed as the Cell C Sharks backline consultant for the 2018 rugby season, for his invaluable contribution to the team’s endeavors this year. He is a respected figure amongst the players and everyone who worked with him and he remains a true son of the black and white jersey.
The Cell C Sharks will play two warm-up matches early February 2019 in preparation for their Vodacom Super Rugby tournament opener against the Sunwolves on Saturday, 16 February in Singapore.