The Cell C Sharks confirmed today that Sprinbok skipper Siya Kolisi was granted an early release from his contract, to join French club Racing 92 after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
This multi-year signing is part of a broader long-term collaboration between the Cell C Sharks and Racing 92, with the two clubs having come to an amicable agreement, whilst they also look forward to continuing to build a mutually beneficial relationship in the future.
The collaboration will involve quarterly meetings of owners and management, and an exchange of ideas about player sharing, coaching expertise and branding. Racing 92 will become part of the global network of relationships being established by the Sharks as it seeks to expand the brand in Europe and the North American market in the years leading up to the 2031 Rugby World Cup.
Now although this is sad news as Siya Kolisi has formed an integral part of the recent Sharks success, at least the loose forward department of the Sharks is well stocked with lots of other quality players available.
What is more concerning is rumours that Thomas du Toit might also be heading abroad and although the Sharks signed Carlu Sadie, the other remaining players are yet to prove that they’re up to European playing levels.
Furthermore the question of who’s next is also lingering with especially Bongi Mbonambi and Eben Etzebeth surely on the “wishlist” of a number of European clubs.
To me that’s a huge concern as the Sharks “DNA” is built on the forwards dominating and without the above players, the Sharks struggled to do just that.