Former Sharks utility back Kobus van Wyk signs for Hurricanes
Move comes as a surprise, given the depth at New Zealand provincial teams and Super Rugby franchises
Former Sharks and Stormers utility back Kobus van Wyk will be turning out for the Hurricanes in the 2020 Super Rugby tournament.
All five of New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams announced their rosters for 2020‚ with the squads showing a number of players who have predictably departed for Europe or Japan.
Van Wyk’s name came as a surprise considering the depth the New Zealand provincial teams and Super Rugby franchises often have at wing‚ centre and full back.
Van Wyk’s move to Wellington explains why the Sharks were so eager to sign Michael Tambwe from the Lions while the likes of Makazole Mapimpi and S’bu Nkosi are expected to dominate the wing berths. Aphelele Fassi could watermark the fullback position.
Sharks communications manager Novashni Chetty confirmed Van Wyk left the Sharks at the end of the Currie Cup season.
“He signed with the Hurricanes after the Currie Cup. His contract ended and there was an opportunity that came up for him that he couldn’t refuse‚” Chetty said on Tuesday.
Van Wyk is expected to play at wing where he will be filling in as a replacement for the talented but underutilised Matt Proctor‚ who has left the franchise to join Northampton.
New Zealand website stuff.co.nz reported that former Sharks coach and current Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree had a hand in Van Wyk moving to New Zealand.
Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee said Van Wyk was picked on ability.
“John has obviously spent a lot of time in SA‚ so he knows a lot of people over there. Kobus’ name came up and then John and [assistant coach] Jason Holland had a look at him play and he was really keen to come out‚” Lee said.
“We’re really excited by that. Super Rugby is an international competition‚ but having foreign players in New Zealand doesn’t happen that often.
“He’s been picked on ability first‚ but I think it’s cool for fans to have a bit of international flavour.”