Oosthuizen’s signing will go some way towards off-setting the loss of the Du Plessis brothers, Jannie and Bismarck, also front-rowers, who have joined French club Montpellier.
The 26-year-old prop has been on the shopping list of most South African franchises but has chosen to join a long line of Grey College old boys who have chosen to call Durban home.
Coenraad, as he is known to his mother, weighs 127kg and is becoming something of a cult figure in Super Rugby for his bullocking runs and big hits on defence. He has the potential to become a Kings Park favourite in the vein of the Beast, who will be feeling the heat from this signing, although a major bonus for Oosthuizen is that he can also play at tighthead, so may well slot straight in for Jannie du Plessis.
It was a day of dramatic development at the Shark Tank when it was also confirmed that director of rugby Gary Gold will continue as head coach during the Currie Cup while the search continues for a “big name” coach for next year’s Super Rugby campaign.
It is known that Grant Bashford, the assistant coach under former Sharks coach John Plumtree, was in the frame for the Currie Cup job but turned it down as he continues his employment at Durban school Northwood.
Gold, in the meantime, will continue to steer the ship. But he will have changes from the staff that assisted him during the Super Rugby season.
Forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson has resigned and has been replaced by Ryan Strudwick, a former Sharks Currie Cup player who has been in the Sharks coaching system for years, heading various teams.
Sean Everitt will continue as backline coach.
“Sean has worked with many of the players in our current squad through the various age-group ranks and has enjoyed great success and has a fantastic rapport with them,” Gold said.
“Ryan recently won the Varsity Shield trophy with the UKZN Impis and has had a long involvement with our coaching set-up.
“For the first time since I arrived, I’m satisfied that there is continuity and clarity among the various age groups, and this has been achieved through the redeployment of the coaching structures,” Gold said.
“The historic structure lacked the necessary focus throughout the age groups. We had approached and considered a replacement for Brad. However, we have, after consultation with all stakeholders, including the team, decided that it will be best for me to oversee the campaign with the assistance of Sean and Ryan.”
Michael Horak, the defence coach in Super Rugby, will move to the under-21s.
In another shift from the senior coaching staff, Paul Anthony will move down to the under-19s. His deputy will be former Sharks centre Andre Barnard.
Gold said: “My long-term vision is to place particular emphasis on our academy, local clubs and school structures. This is a critical area that will enable us to ensure that the very best home-grown talent get the opportunity to come through the Sharks ranks.”
Independent on Saturday
Original source: Oosthuizen to add weight to Sharks pack