Sharks resigned to losing Alberts
Cape Town - The Sharks appear resigned to the fact that loose forward Willem Alberts will be leaving them after the
2015 Rugby World Cup to play in France, judging by comments coach Gary Gold made when quizzed about their latest signing, Waratahs loose forward
Potgieter, a similarly abrasive forward to
Alberts, will join the Sharks in early 2016 ahead of next year's expanded Super Rugby tournament.
“We think one or two of our players are going to move after the World
Cup and Jacques is a big character, a strong ball carrier and
hard-hitting defender. We hope he has the same impact for us as he has
had for the Waratahs. His aspiration is to play more for the Springboks
and he’s not going to achieve that if he’s not based in South Africa,”
"Jacques is a great acquisition for the Sharks," added Sharks CEO John Smit in a statement when confirming Potgieter's signing.
Potgieter's signing drew mixed reaction, with former Sharks and Springbok skipper Gary Teichmann questioning the decision.
Although there is no official confirmation that Alberts is leaving, a leading French agent has confirmed to The Citizen that “he has already signed at Stade Francais” and leading rugby publication Midi Olympique have also said Alberts is set to play for the Paris club.
Veteran Sharks and Springbok front-rowers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis have also
been linked to a move to Montpellier in France. The Top 14 club are coached by former Sharks and Springbok boss, Jake White.
There is already a large South African
contingent at Montpellier.
Shaun Sowerby is White's assistant coach,
while Pat Cilliers (prop), Wynand Olivier and Robert Ebersohn (both centres)
all ply their trade there.
Other South Africans soon to join include Jacobie
Adriaanse (Llanelli Scarlets, prop), Schalk van der Merwe (Lions, prop),
Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers, flyhalf), Jacques du Plessis (Bulls, loose
forward/lock), Cameron Wright (Sharks, scrumhalf/flyhalf) and Wiaan Liebenberg
(Bulls, loose forward).