Sharks confirm signing of World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth
The Cell C Sharks have announced the signing of World Cup winning lock Eben Etzebeth from Toulon ahead of next season, signing a deal until 2027.
It was confirmed last week that the 30-year-old would be leaving the Top 14 outfit, citing personal reasons, but his new destination has now been confirmed. He will team up with his Springboks captain and long-time friend Siya Kolisi in Durban ahead of next season’s United Rugby Championship season.
“These are exciting times,” the 97-cap lock said.
“I’m looking forward to coming to The Sharks and living in Durban and I expect this to be a wonderful chapter in my career.
“I can see things are happening there, Siya [Kolisi] is there and we’ve been friends since we were in the provincial Under 19s together and now we will get to play for the Sharks together. Along with my Springbok team-mates Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, Thomas du Toit, all guys I know well. I’m also really excited to meet a few new guys.”
“I chatted to Siya, I gave Thomas a call and chatted to them. Off the field, things work, on the field we can see things are working and the team is doing well, I enjoyed watching the last game against the Bulls and the victory away from home and this is a brand I definitely want to be associated with and which I’m proud to be joining.
“I’m looking forward to playing at The Shark Tank, the local derbies against the Bulls, Stormers and Lions will be awesome. I’m looking forward to being back in South Africa and playing in front of the Sharks fans there.”
The Sharks CEO Dr Ed Coetzee said: “Attracting a player of Etzebeth’s calibre underlines the importance The Sharks place on building a winning squad, which is aligned to the vision of being the biggest franchise in world rugby.
“We’re also focused on building a strong group of players for a number of years, not just the immediate future and Eben’s long-term contract reflects this.
“We want to create a winning culture here at The Sharks across the board and from a team perspective, bringing players who have achieved at the highest level helps in our goal of achieving this.”