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Gary Gold

Gary Gold

A SANZAAR Judicial Hearing conducted by Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) has found Cell C Sharks coach Gary Gold guilty of misconduct under the SANZAAR Code of Conduct following the Cell C Sharks vs Crusaders match 2 weekends ago.

Gold admitted a charge of misconduct, which also involved 2 breaches of the Super Rugby Competition Rules, by engaging with TMO (TMO) Johan Greeff during the 2nd half of the match.

In his finding Hampton concluded that, by his own admission, Gold had approached the TMO on 2 separate occasions (65th and 71st minutes) and had used crude and insulting language towards the official.

It was found that, by his actions, Gold had clearly breached Super Rugby Competition Rule 3.8 (7) “That no person may engage, or attempt to engage with a TMO during a match in relation to the TMOs officiating in the match.”

Hampton also found that Gold’s actions had breached the SANZAAR Code of Conduct Section 8.3 (l) which states: “All persons shall not use crude, insulting or abusive language towards Match Officials.”

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Toulon RFCCell C SharksToulon (0) 21 / 29 (17) Sharks (Final Score)

Toulon and the Cell C Sharks did battle in a Super Rugby 2016 warm-up match at

Stade Mayol, Toulon, France at 21:45 SA Time (20:45 French Time, 19:45 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 on TV in SA.

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks received a timely boost with confirmation that seasoned Springbok loose forward Keegan Daniel is returning to Durban.

Daniel, who has spent 2 seasons with Kubota in Japan, will be playing for the Sharks in the 2016 Super Rugby season.

With 199 caps for the Sharks, 59 of those as captain, he also led the team to Currie Cup glory in 2013.

Daniel, 30, played the last of his 5 Tests for the Springboks against Argentina at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, in August 2012.

Always a fierce competitor, he will bring strong leadership and experience to the team environment – which will greatly benefit the youngsters in the Sharks squad.

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Super RugbyJust how the revised Super Rugby format will go down with the South African rugby public is unclear, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.

The new-look tournament gets underway in less than a month, with the Blues and the Highlanders kicking things off in Auckland on Friday 26 February 2016.

From a South African perspective, the road ahead looks a tough one and if local bookmakers are to be believed there is no standout side from within these borders that looks set to challenge for the title.

Outside of the tournament changes, the majority of the South African franchises have also undergone major alterations with only 2wo sides – the Cell C Sharks and Emirates Lions – heading into 2016 with the same coaches that did the business in 2015.

The Southern Kings, obviously, were not a part of the 2015 competition but they also have a new man at the helm.

Here, we look at the 6 men tasked with bringing success to their respective franchises:

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks’ 5 missing international players — away in Japan completing their club duties — are expected back in Durban before the end of the month.

New vice-captain Marcell Coetzee, JP Pietersen, Namibian backrower Renaldo Bothma and new signings Willie le Roux and Jacques Potgieter will join the Sharks squad a week before they leave on their pre-season tour of France early in February.

A member of the Sharks management yesterday said that the squad to travel to France would be announced next week and a decision on whether the Japan-based players would be included for the 2 friendlies has still to be made.

The Sharks will play 2-time European champs Toulon on Friday 5 February, before taking on Toulouse 6 days later.

New Cell C Sharks captain Pat Lambie said that it was likely that all the tour members would be given an airing during the 2 games but added that taking on the 2 Top 14 French clubs would be a major challenge.

Head coach Gary Gold said he wanted tough opposition for his young charges ahead of a fresh season.

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Pat Lambie & Marcell Coetzee

Pat Lambie (left) and Marcell Coetzee (Right)

The Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold on Wednesday announced the appointment of Springbok flyhalf, Patrick Lambie, as the Cell C Sharks captain for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament.

Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, Pat is regarded as one of the most talented and level-headed players around. He will no doubt prove to be a great mentor, calming influence and role-model to a relatively young Cell C Sharks squad.

Commenting on his decision, Gold stated:  “Pat’s records and performances over the years speak volumes about the calibre of player he is.  He is a natural born leader, who has shown on numerous occasions that he possesses all of the qualities needed to be a great captain, especially captaining a team he has supported all his life.

“Both Pat and I are aligned with our vision to take the Cell C Sharks forward and I respect and admire his commitment to Sharks rugby, he has my full support and backing.”

“Pat has earned the respect of his fellow players and management alike and he’s a tough competitor that leads by example.  I have no doubt that his presence and commitment shown on the field will inspire and motivate the players around him”, added Gary Gold.

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Robert du Preez (snr)

Robert du Preez (snr)

Cell C Sharks director of rugby, Gary Gold, believes Robert du Preez (snr) will give his team an extra edge on attack in next year’s Super Rugby competition.

Former Springbok scrumhalf Du Preez is no stranger to Sharks rugby, having been a key member during the successes of the famous ‘Team of the 90s’ and he not only brings new ideas and experience, but the passion for the team, having represented the Sharks in 63 matches between 1992 and 1998 – during which 3 Currie Cup titles were won.

He will share the skills and attack coaching duties with Sean Everitt.

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks on Thursday unveiled their provisional Super Rugby training squad ahead of the 2016 season.

As expected, lock Ruan Botha joins from the Stormers on a 2-year deal to soften the blow of Pieter-Steph du Toit moving the other way.

“Ruan is a young player with a bright future ahead of him. He was part of the SA Under 20 squad that won the IRB Junior Championship in 2012 and we look forward to his progress in the black and white jersey,” Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold told the franchise’s website.

“This squad will be re-looked at in the New Year, when our other squad members return.”

There are another 9 players currently undergoing rehab for various injuries, while 6 have been released including flyhalf Lionel Cronje, lock Marco Wentzel and centre Waylon Murray.

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Ruan Botha

Ruan Botha

The Cell C Sharks are set to announce their pre-season Super Rugby squad on Thursday – and the name Ruan Botha will appear on that list.

The 23-year-old Stormers lock is set for a move to Durban, while Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit has moved from the Sharks to Newlands.

A Sharks spokesperson on Wednesday said that the deal between the union and Botha could not yet be officially confirmed due to a contract that still had to be signed.

However, the indication was that all of the paperwork would be wrapped up by Thursday.

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Gary Gold

Gary Gold

Cell C Sharks Director Of Rugby, Gary Gold, has announced the 4 coaches that will be assisting him in next year’s Super Rugby competition.

Former UKZN Impi coach Ryan Strudwick will be in charge of the forwards. Strudwick’s Impi side were crowned Varsity Shield champions earlier this year when they beat Wits in the Final. He also previously coached Maritzburg College.

Strudwick also assisted Gold during this year’s Currie Cup campaign. He has been involved with the Sharks at Under 19 and Under 20 level as well.

Former Springbok and Sharks scrumhalf Robert du Preez will be the team’s skills and attack coach – a role he shares with Sean Everitt. Du Preez also won the ABSA Currie Cup First Division trophy with the Leopards this year. The North West team went through the entire tournament unbeaten.

He also guided NWU-Pukke to two Varsity Cup finals – one of which was this year’s 33 / 63 loss to UFS Shimlas. Pukke lost to UCT in the final in 2014.

Du Preez will also be coaching his sons Dan and Jean-Luc who are part of the Cell C Sharks squad.

Omar Mouneimne joins from the Steval Pumas and will be the team’s defence coach. He was also part of the Eastern Province Kings coaching setup and also had coaching stints in Edinburgh and Italy.

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Robert du Preez snr

Robert du Preez snr

New Cell C Sharks Assistant Coach, Robert du Preez snr, wants the team to play a brand of rugby that will make their fans proud.

Du Preez, himself a former Sharks scrumhalf, joined the Durban side’s coaching staff this month after a successful stint with the Leopards, who he led to the Currie Cup First Division title this year.

He will be an Assistant Coach during Super Rugby and will head up next year’s Currie Cup tournament.

Under the tutelage of Director of Rugby Gary Gold, the Cell C Sharks had a torrid 2015 season.

After a disappointing Super Rugby campaign in which they finished 11th on the Combined Log, things took a turn for the worse for the Cell C Sharks. They failed to reach the ABSA Currie Cup semifinals, and their 4 victories came against the competition’s also-rans, the EP Kings (2), Steval Pumas and ORC Griquas.

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Gary Gold

Gary Gold

The Cell C Sharks will travel to France in February 2016, on a pre-season tour ahead of the start of their Super Rugby 2016 campaign.

There are 2 games lined-up for the tour, with a visit to Stade Mayol 1st up to take on 2-time European champs Toulon on Friday 5 February before they face Toulouse on Thursday 11 February.

The Sharks believe that these matches against 2 of the best European clubs in recent times, marks an ideal opportunity to fine tune their preparation for Super Rugby.

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Chiliboy Ralepelle

Chiliboy Ralepelle

The Cell C Sharks have announced the signing of former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who will join the franchise from the start of the new Super Rugby season.

The announcement was made on Friday on the Cell C Sharks website.

Commenting on his signing, Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold said: “I am pleased to have acquired the services of a hooker with the pedigree of Chiliboy Ralepelle. He is a brilliant player with a strong work ethic and will be an asset to our squad.

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Robert du Preez snr

Robert du Preez snr

The Sharks (Pty) Ltd today confirmed the appointment of former Springbok scrumhalf, Robert du Preez (snr), who will join the Cell C Sharks coaching team. He will be an assistant coach during Super Rugby and will head up next year’s Currie Cup tournament.

Du Preez, coach of the Leopards who recently won the ABSA Currie Cup First Division trophy, joins the Cell C Sharks in November 2015.

Confirming his appointment, The Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold said: “We are immensely happy to confirm the appointment of Robert du Preez. It was an appointment that we thought long and hard about. We identified that we wanted to bring in a coach who fitted a particular profile, someone who was South African and someone that understands our unique culture and who also has a strong belief in a disciplined environment.

“We believe that Robert ticks every single box. The route that his coaching career has gone has been absolutely textbook in terms of the success he enjoyed at College Rovers, where he won 67 out of the 70 games he coached there, then with NWU-Pukke as well as the knowledge he has of unearthing the potential of young players coming through the ranks and obviously his recent success with the Leopards. He has certainly shown that there is a consistency to what he does.

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John Smit

John Smit

Cell C Sharks CEO, John Smit, has a message for disappointed Sharks fans after the team’s failure to reach the Currie Cup semifinals.

After playing to a 34 / 34 draw to the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein at the weekend, the Durbanites finished 5th on the overall Currie Cup Log, to miss out on a playoff spot.

The Cell C Sharks appeared to have the game in the bag, leading 34 / 20 with 4 minutes remaining, but 2 late converted tries gave the Toyota Free State Cheetahs a draw – and a place in the semifinals at the expense of the Cell C Sharks.

Smit wrote a message to fans on the Cell C Sharks’ official Facebook page.

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Robert du Preez snr

Robert du Preez snr

Leopards coach Robert du Preez has been linked with a coaching role at the Cell C Sharks.

A newspaper report on Wednesday indicated that the former Springbok scrumhalf will coach the Cell C Sharks during next year’s Currie Cup competition, while also assisting Gary Gold during Super Rugby in 2016.

The report indicated that Du Preez, 52, will start his job in Durban on 1 November.

The Cell C Sharks did not respond when contacted about official confirmation on the matter.

Du Preez has now taken the Leopards to the ABSA Currie Cup First Division title, when they beat the SWD Eagles on Thursday evening (today).

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ABSA Currie CupThe final Round, Round 10, of league fixtures in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division takes place this weekend and all eyes will be on the Free State Rugby Stadium in Bloemfontein, where the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and the Cell C Sharks will battle it out for the remaining Semifinal spot.

Unbeaten Log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, are already assured of a home Semifinal, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province are also through to the Semifinals.

However, with only 2 points separating the Free State Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks on the Log standings, the 2 teams have everything to play for in what is effectively a Quarterfinal in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

The Free State Cheetahs currently have 21 points and the Cell C Sharks 19, and both teams know that a victory will book a meeting with the competition’s in-form and most prolific team this season, the Golden Lions, in Johannesburg. The losing team, meanwhile, will crash out of the competition.

DHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls also have a lot to play for. Both teams are in action on Friday and their respective matches in Cape Town and Nelspruit kick off at the same time at 18:00 SA Time.

The Blue Bulls, 2nd on the Log with 34 points, face the Steval Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium and the Pretoria side knows that a win, even without a bonus point, will be enough to guarantee them a home Semifinal in the capital. Steval Pumas stalwart Marius Coetzer will deservedly earn his 100th cap when he takes to the field from the bench, while skipper Stefan Watermeyer will earn his 50th cap.

Western Province, in turn, face an injury-hit EP Kings side at DHL Newlands and the Capetonians will run out knowing that a bonus-point win is a must if they want to keep alive their slim hope of hosting a playoff match. However, for that to happen they must hope for a Blue Bulls defeat in Nelspruit.

Meanwhile, the free-scoring Golden Lions will round off their league commitments with a home clash against the bottom-of-the-log ORC Griquas in a 16:00 SA Time kick-off at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Interestingly, the Nel-brothers, Ruhan of ORC Griquas and Jacques of the Golden Lions, will line up opposite each other, with both playing in the No 13 jersey for their respective teams. Ruhan, a Springbok Sevens international, plays outside centre for Griquas after playing on the wing against the Cell C Sharks last weekend. The brothers played together for the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup, but this will be the 1st time they will play against each other.

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Cell C SharksCell C Sharks Gary Gold has only made 1 change to his starting 15 which thrashed the ORC Griquas, for his side’s must win game against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.

The single change sees Garth April start at fullback for Odwa Ndungane, who shifts to the right wing in place of Wandile Mjekevu.

On the bench, Monde Hadebe replaces Kyle Cooper and veteran Waylon Murray comes in as cover for the backline.

It is do or die for both teams as the final pool clash between the Cell C Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs is effectively a quarterfinal game for both, chasing a Top 4 finish.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Xerox Golden Lions produced their most impressive display of the season when they demolished DHL Western Province 62 / 32 in their ABSA Currie Cup match at Emirates Airline Park on Friday evening in Johannesburg.

The Golden Lions stretched their unbeaten run to 9 games and their prolific form saw them stack up 135 points in their last 2 games. They are 9 Log Points clear of 2nd-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls, who outplayed the Eastern Province Kings by 48 / 27 also on Friday evening in Pretoria.

Although WP suffered their 3rd loss of their campaign against a rampant Golden Lions team, their 30 Log points means they are assured of 3rd place on the standings, irrespective of the outcome of their last Round clash this coming Friday against the EP Kings in Cape Town.

ORC Griquas were no match for the Cell C Sharks in Kimberley on Saturday as the Durban-based side ran in 6 tries for a 45 / 20 victory to move within 2 points of the 4th-placed Toyota Free State Cheetahs on the Log.

The Steval Pumas and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs played to a thrilling 37 / 37 draw in their encounter at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday after the visitors led 24 / 16 at halftime.

Currently, the Xerox Golden Lions lead the way on 43 Log points, followed by the Vodacom Blue Bulls on 34, DHL Western Province are 3rd on 30, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 4th on 21, followed by the Cell C Sharks on 19, Steval Pumas on 16, EP Kings on 12 and ORC Griquas are stone last on 8.

This coming weekend sees the Toyota Free State Cheetahs host the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein and the winner of this encounter will play the Xerox Golden Lions in 1 of the Semi-finals in Johannesburg. The Vodacom Blue Bulls just need a win in Nelspruit to set up a home meeting in the semi-finals against DHL Western Province.

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Philip van der Walt

Philip van der Walt

Philip van der Walt, a man who’s actions speak louder than words has been entrusted with the captaincy for the Cell C Sharks Currie Cup clash with the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

The leadership change comes after head coach Gary Gold has made a rotational switch in the locks, Australian David McDuling coming in for Marco Wentzel who gets a much-needed break after starting every match this season.

Flank Christiaan de Bruin gets his 1st start in a Sharks jersey after making his debut off the bench against DHL Western Province. He replaces Jean-Luc du Preez in the only other change to the starting line-up.

Springbok and injury-prone Jean Deysel returns to action on the bench after injuring himself in the Round 2 victory over the EP Kings.

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