Vodacom Super 14
Van den Berg leaves Sharks
Durban - With Albert van den Berg’s contract coming to an end in 2009, he intends to see out his rugby career playing in Japan, having signed a one year contract with one of the local clubs, CANON.
Van den Berg had an outstanding career with the Sharks, during which time he accumulated a huge fan base amongst the supporters for his exceptional lineout play, both on his own ball and in disrupting opposition throw-ins.
Van den Berg achieved an incredible milestone in his rugby career, becoming the most capped Sharks player with a combined tally of 171 caps, joining a select, elite group of players. This has now given him the edge over Hugh Reece-Edwards and Steve Atherton, who have both held the record on 165 caps since 1995 and 1999 respectively.
“It was very special for me playing in my 171st game, in the semi-final of the Currie Cup last year against the Cheetahs. It’s always something to aspire to, and players get judged by how many games they’ve played. There are a lot of legends out there and I am just happy to be part of that group." said Van den Berg.
Highlights in his career include being a member of the Springbok World Cup squad who won the trophy in 2007, winning the Tri-Nations in 2004, the Currie Cup in 2008 and was the player that scored the try to put the Sharks in the lead, in the dying moments of that momentous clash against the Bulls in the 2007 Super 14 final in Durban.
Sharks CEO, Brian van Zyl said: “We would like to wish Albert and his family the very best for the future. His humble and calm manner has had a great influence on the players around him. On behalf of everyone at The Sharks, I want to thank him for his massive contribution to our rugby, our brand and province throughout his playing career.”ALBERT VAN DEN BERG
• Position: Lock
• Physical: 2.01m; 110kg
• Born: 26.01.74, Hoopstad
• Province Caps: 146 (15 Vaal Triangle, 55 Griquas, 76 Sharks)
• Province Debut: 1994 Vaal Triangle v Western Transvaal
• Super 14 Caps: 102 (95 Sharks, 7 Cats)
• Super 14 Debut: 1999 Cats v Highlanders
• Test Caps: 51
• Test Debut: 1999 v Italy