CLOSER LOOK: Signings aplenty as Sharks flex squad strength!

In a massive announcement made by the Sharks on Thursday, it was revealed that Springbok captain Siya Kolisi had signed a whopping five-year contract extension at the Durban-based franchise.

Considering that Kolisi will turn 31-years-old on 16 June, this contract extension could well take him towards the end of his career at the Sharks.

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Just recently, in a wide-ranging interview with the RugbyPass Offload podcast, Kolisi was asked if there was a particular European club he would like to join if he decided to come overseas.

However, the Springbok captain was quick to pour cold water on the idea, hinting that the window for him to play overseas had probably already passed.

“I have thought a lot about it [moving] but I would miss South Africa too much, number one,” Siya Kolisi said.

“I know we have many struggles but I still think it is the greatest country in the world.

“There is so much that I love here in South Africa. I now have a young family settling down. I have moved now from Cape Town to Durban so… but in the past I did want to (move).

“I was talking to a club after 2015, I was talking to Toulouse before Cheslin (Kolbe) went, but since then I don’t know. I’m not getting any younger now so I’m not sure if I would go to Europe. If I ever leave I think I would go to Japan. I can’t leave this hard rugby to another hard rugby.”

SIYA KOLISI: I LOVE SOUTH AFRICA TOO MUCH TO PACK MY BAGS

To good to be true? BELIEVE IT! Our Springbok captain, @SiyaKolisi has committed to the black and white until 2027 #OurSharksForever #BackOnTheDottedLine pic.twitter.com/UTz78xjPu4

— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) May 19, 2022

Last year, Kolisi also credited his move to the Sharks as a career-defining decision, which was designed to take him out of his comfort zone.

“I just knew that for my career, and both physically and mentally, I needed a new challenge,” he explained recently.

Upon arriving in Durban, Kolisi then threw himself into an intensive conditioning programme, determined to ensure he would be selected on merit rather than reputation.

“It (the Sharks move) got me to focus again, and I worked really hard at my fitness,” he commented. “I never doubted myself because I know my body and that I would be fine once I got back to a certain level of fitness, so I wasn’t stressed.”

Since then, Kolisi has simply gone from strength to strength, while he went on to be named the 2021 SA Rugby Player of the Year after producing a series of standout performances at national level.

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The accouncement of the contract extension signed by Kolisi is the latest piece of notable news out of the Sharks camp

Just days after the official confirmation that former Bok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Lions loose forward Vincent Tshituka will be heading to Kings Park, the Sharks also announced the signing of “powerful scrummager” Carlu Sadie.

In addition to new signings, the Sharks have confirmed a number of long-terms contract extensions for key members of their squad. Those to have put pen to paper on extending their stays in KwaZulu-Natal are lock duo Reniel Hugo and Emile van Heerden, prop Dian Bleuler and fullback Anthony Volmink.

On Monday, it was confirmed that Springbok hopeful Grant Williams had also signed on for another two years, while in further news that will catch people’s attention, it’s been announced that Lionel Cronje is returning to Durban.

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The good news has just kept coming for the Sharks, and on Tuesday it was confirmed that Springbok superstar Lukhanyo Am has committed to the Sharks until 2025.

Furthermore, Makazole Mapimpi has signed a new deal with the Sharks which will keep him in Durban – and South Africa – until the end of the 2024/25 season.

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The Springbok wing joined the Durban outfit from the Cheetahs in 2018 on a two-year deal, and re-signed again in 2020 when he was allowed a sabbatical in Japan.

This new three-year deal will likely be the last for Mapimpi who will turn 32 in July this year.

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