They have yet to sign their contracts, but Sharks head coach John Plumtree has no doubt that the Du Plessis brothers, hooker Bismarck and prop Jannie, will be staying on in Durban.
John Bishop – Sport24
The two Springbok front-rowers are the only Sharks’ Springboks yet to sign for the 2010 season but Plumtree said yesterday that they would not be moving.
“Both players are happy to stay here,” he said. “They’ve had some good offers from around the world, but both have committed verbally to me that they are staying and I’m happy with that.”
Plumtree said the pair had important roles to play for the Sharks in the future.
“They’re world class and their signatures are certainly very important to the Sharks.”
While the brothers have apparently agreed verbally to extending their stay in Durban, their agent Gerrie Swart – who was also involved in young Frans Steyn signing for Racing Metro in France – and the Sharks are finalising minor details in their contracts.
The Sharks committed themselves to Bismarck du Plessis last year when they signed him as their first-choice hooker, a decision which resulted in Springbok captain John Smit moving to tighthead prop.
Plumtree said that the 31-year-old Smit would have to be carefully nurtured if he was to take the Springboks through to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
“If we want him to last to 2011, he needs to be well managed. There is a lot of rugby for him in the years ahead but he is a key man for the Boks and he will need to be looked after by the concerned parties (Sharks and Springboks).”
Plumtree said he expected Smit, who is contracted with the Sharks until the end of next year, to see out the 2011 RWC “and then that will probably be it for him.”