Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Now that the domestic rugby season is done and dusted‚ the Sharks have started their hunt for players. James Venter has become their first acquisition.

The live-wire loose forward has been snatched from the Golden Lions as newly appointed Sharks Super Rugby coach Sean Everitt picks up the pieces left from Robert du Preez’s four-year reign as coach.

The Sharks are not lacking for loose forwards‚ but with Du Preez’s twin loose-forward son’s Jean-Luc and Daniel also leaving the franchise‚ vacancies have suddenly availed themselves.

Venter’s work has come mostly off the bench for the Golden Lions‚ where he was effectively used as a super-sub.

He added a fair bit of punch and bite to the Lions’ second-half cause with two tries in Saturday’s 31-28 Currie Cup final loss to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

But no player can really be content with coming off the bench, especially at the Sharks where the loose forward spots are properly up for grabs.

The Sharks were fortunate in having Lubabalo “Tera” Mtembu for the whole  Currie Cup season. The No 8 has spent a lot of time on the physiotherapists's bench recently.

They also have Luke Stringer‚ Jacques Vermeulen and Phendulani Buthelezi, but the brutal and the attritional nature of Super Rugby means depth in strength will take you a long way in the tournament.

Venter is the first of nine players the Sharks are unveiling in nine days Reports suggest that the likes of Cheetahs prop Retshegofaditswe “Ox” Nche and Lions wing Madosh Tambwe will also be joining the franchise.

It has been a time of change at the Sharks where Brent Janse van Rensburg has also joined the franchise as a forwards coach from the Griquas with Selborne College first rugby team coach Phiwe Nomlomo being added as a skills specialist.