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The SharksIn this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

The Sharks, although sitting pretty with the Springbok front row, still look vulnerable as the backup props, although steady for the most, have not been as dominating as the team would want.

This is specially the case at Loosehead where Dale Chadwick at times would stand his man and other times just fade into obscurity as he seems lack drive and passion. The Sharks could very well see one or two of the junior props coming through the ranks to fill that gap unless Dale really stands up.

At Tighthead things seem more settled as Wiehann Herbst has been solid in backup to Jannie Du Plessis, and young Nick Schonert is growing as a player and will no doubt have a good future.



The Contenders:

Jannie Du Plessis:

Position Prop (TH)
Height 1.88
Weight 121 kg
Date of Birth 16 November 1982
Place of Birth Bethlehem
Provincial Debut Free State (2003-2007) KwaZulu-Natal (from 2008)
Provincial Caps 43(FS) and 33(Sharks)
Provincial Points 10(FS) and 15(Sharks)
Super Rugby Debut 2006 for the Cheetahs and from 2008 for the Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 26(Cheetahs) and 70 (Sharks)
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut  7 July 2007 vs Australia in Sydney, aged 24
Test Caps 44
Test Points 5

Jannie Du Plessis

Jannie has been a real stalwart for the Sharks in the last 2 years as Tightheads of international standard have been hard to come by. He started his rugby career in the Free State where he was captain of the Eastern Free State Craven Week team in 1995 and then represented the Free State at under 18 and 19 level.

He studied medicine at the University of the Free State and became a qualified doctor, making him one of the few players in the professional era of rugby union to have a career outside of the sport whilst playing professionally. He then went on to make the Free State senior team in 2003 and continued playing for the Cheetahs through the 2007 Currie Cup. Du Plessis was also named to a South African squad that faced a World XV at Ellis Park in 2006.

He was selected for the Springbok squad for the first time during the 2007 Tri-Nations, making his debut in the starting XV on 7 July against Australia during the Boks’ home leg. The match was significant for him in another way, as his younger brother, Bismarck, made his Springbok debut as a substitute in the same match while he was still on the field. This made the Du Plessis brothers the 23rd set of brothers to earn Springbok colours.

Jannie du Plessis in 2008 made his move to the Sharks where he currently still applies his trade as a professional rugby player and has represented the Sharks in all competitions on 103 occasions and has probably been at his best this past year where even having played a total of 36 matches for the year, inbetween where possible he also still performs his duties as a medical doctor. Very few people give this man credit for what he has and still achieves.

This is the kind of man doctor Jannie Du Plessis is – he received an unexpected opportunity to use his medical skills in the wake of a 2009 tragedy. In the early morning hours of 29 March, Brumbies lock Shawn Mackay was hit by a car outside a Durban nightclub, suffering a paralyzing injury. Du Plessis was at the scene because he was helping Brumbies players get back to their hotel after their match with the Sharks. He helped Mackay breathe and contacted emergency services, who stabilized him and rushed him to a hospital. However, despite all medical efforts, Mackay would die from complications of his injuries several days later.


Tendai Beast Mtawarira:

Position Prop (LH)
Height 1.87
Weight 118 kg
Date of Birth 1 August 1985
Place of Birth Harare, Zimbabwe
Provincial Debut 2007 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 38
Provincial Points 15
Super Rugby Debut 2007 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 76
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut  2008
Test Caps 41
Test Points 10
Tendai Mtawarira

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira is a Zimbabwean-born South African rugby union player, is fondly known by friends and fans as “The Beast”. Roars of “Beast” are shouted by spectators and fans of the Natal Sharks team whenever Mtawarira attains possession of the ball or makes a big tackle. Mtawarira was selected as part of the Springbok team and made his debut playing against Wales in a test match on 14 June 2008.

He completed his schooling at Peter House in Marondera, Zimbabwe after which he was accepted into the Sharks academy in Durban, where he started to play loosehead prop as he had played in the looseforward position at school.

Tendai did not have the greatest 2012 season due to injuries as well as a season ending minor heart operation, after which diagnosis was that all was successful and that he should be ready to perform his duties come February 2013.


Wiehahn Herbst:

Position Prop (TH)
Height 1.80
Weight 114 kg
Date of Birth 5 July 1988
Place of Birth Klerksdorp
Provincial Debut 2009  Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 59
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2010 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 22
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Wiehahn Herbst

Wiehahn went to school at Klerksdorp High where he played hooker and then made the Leopards Under 18  Craven Week side and the SA Schools side in 2006, after which he moved to the Sharks academy and since then has the following portfolio:

IRB Under 19 World Championship – 2007, ABSA Under 19 Competition – 2007
IRB Junior World Championship – 2008, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2008
MTN test – 2009, Vodacom Cup – 2009, Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – 2009, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2009, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2009
Vodacom Super 14 – 2010, Vodacom Cup – 2010, Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – 2010, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2010
Vodacom Cup – 2011, Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011, Absa Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies – 2011, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2011
Vodacom Super Rugby – 2012, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2012

Wors, as he is known at the Sharks, is a very underrated prop and is well known for a good work ethic in general play and is very seldom dominated by any opposing prop. He is sure to make more impact next season as player rotation will surely be more appropriate due to the long grueling season that teams face.


Dale Micheal Chadwick:

Position Prop (LH)
Height 1.83
Weight 114
Date of Birth 20 June 1989
Place of Birth Durban
Provincial Debut 2009 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 36
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 10
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut  0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Dale Chadwick

Dale went to school at Westville Boys High and has had a very successful junior rugby career where he achieved the following:

2005 – Natal U16 Grant Khomo Week
2007 – Kwazulu Natal U/18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, 2007 – SA Schools
2008 – Sharks U19.

His senior career although still in infancy has been a bit worrying as he seems to be brilliant one game and then seems to be asleep in the next. There is no doubt he has the talent and maybe he is a slow starter and will grow as a player as he gains experience. He really does have the pedigree and maybe he needs to really believe it himself.

His profile at the Sharks is as follows:

Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies – 2009, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2009, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2009
Vodacom Cup – 2010, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2010
Vodacom Cup – 2011, Absa Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies – 2011, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2011
Vodacom Super Rugby – 2012, Vodacom Cup – 2012, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2012


Julian Redelinghuys:

Position Prop
Height 1.76
Weight 110
Date of Birth 11 September 1989
Place of Birth Pretoria
Provincial Debut 2010 Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 16
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut  2012 Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut  0
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Julian Redelinghuys

Julian is still very young and has a few Currie Cup matches for the Sharks under his belt and did have a fairly good junior career which shows as follows:

2001 – Lions U12 Nike All Stars
2002 – Lions U13 Craven Week
2005 – Golden Lions U16 Grant Khomo Week
2006 – Golden Lions U18 Craven Week, 2006 – SA Schools
2007 – Golden Lions U18 Craven Week, 2007 – SA Schools
2008 – Sharks U19 Currie Cup

Since joining the Sharks academy he has the following achievements:

ABSA Under 19 Competition – 2008
IRB Junior World Championships – 2009, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2009, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2009
Vodacom Cup – 2010, ABSA Under 21 Competition – 2010
Absa Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies – 2011, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2011
Vodacom Super Rugby – 2012, ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division – 2012

Again not much is known about this young player and he will surely only be used in and when the need arises as in the case of injuries, when playing in the Currie cup he did not do to badly but CC and SR are two very different ball games so time will tell.


Names of the other Props in the extended squad:

Nick Schonert:  (TH) although he has played on the LH side.
HEIGHT: 189 cm
WEIGHT: 118 Kg
BIRTH DATE: 20 September 1991
SECONDARY SCHOOL: Maritzburg College

He was a member of the South African Under-20 team that played in the 2011 IRB Junior world Championships.

2007 – KZN U16 Grant Khomo Week 2008 – Kwazulu Natal U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week 2009 – KZN U18 Craven Week 2010 – Sharks U19 2012 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup


Allan Dell:
Date of Birth: 16 March 1992
Place of Birth: Humansdorp
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 112 kg
School: Queens College

Playing Position: Tight Head Prop 2005 –  U/13 Border Craven Week 2008 – Border U16 Grant Khomo Week 2009 – Border U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week 2012 – Sharks XV Vodacom Cup 2012 – SA U20  IRB JWC

Allan is a very mobile and strong up and coming young prop and has already at age 20 played for the Sharks in the Currie Cup. He was also a member of the victorious South African Under-20 team at the 2012 IRB junior world championship, including playing in the final against New Zealand Under-20.



Once again injuries will play a roll as some players are still recovering from injuries or correction to injuries during the off-season, but one can safely assume that the Sharks will start with their Springbok props in Jannie du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira, with Dale Chadwick and Wiehahn Herbst again filling the bench spots or getting starts where and as rotation takes place.

The Sharks have good depth in their Junior ranks at prop and although some might raise an eyebrow because they are still young, these props have serious pedigree and will no doubt grow within the next season to achieve higher honours within the Sharks ranks.

As we have seen, the tendency in the modern game is that players are climbing the ladder at a much younger age as in the case of Steven Kitshoff and Eben Etzebeth. This is not the norm with props, but things seems to have changed.

4 Responses to Super Rugby: Sharks squad contenders – Props

  • 1

    Beast and Jannie, then the cupboard is bare.

  • 2

    Not true Loskoppie, Herbst and Chadwick are seldom conquered come scrum time, the problem here is Chadwick in general play where he and be brilliant one minute and pathetic the next, Herbst is good in general play too and is a strong TH

    and it is at LH if Beast gets injured where the Sharks could have problems,

    Both Redelinghuys and Dell are both although very young sold props, but they are TH’s that can play a bit at LH, and thus my concern for the LH position

  • 3

    2 @ Sharks_forever:
    I feel if we lost Beast like we done for the first part of S15 this year, we will struggle. Chadwick is a good scrummager but he does some daft things to let himself down. He gave away too many penalties this year and so often he dropped the ball when Sharks were in a good position. Needs to sort that out. Herbst is fine though when Jannie came of in the CC final we struggled there. Though Herbst was good for most part of the S15 coming on for Jannie. So not too worried there. Well not for now. I would have felt better if we had a seriously good LH to cover Beast. Pity JC Van Rensburg never came to Sharks on loan for the coming S15. I rate him highly.

  • 4


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