Durban, 17th November 2017: In 2017, the introduction of Robert du Preez as the Cell C Sharks Head Coach coincided with the assembling of a young talented squad, which paved the way for a new era at the Cell C Sharks. A three-year plan was structured and implemented to take us forward and reclaim our winning ways. In year one, there was sufficient growth shown with the Cell C Sharks having qualified for the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-finals, topped the log at the end of the pool stages of the Currie Cup and contested a home Currie Cup Final. This is just the beginning of where we want to be at and the focus is now on building on this progress.

To this end, the Cell C Sharks are delighted to announce the appointment of Dick Muir, the former Springbok and Sharks player and coach. He will join the Cell C Sharks coaching team as a consultant responsible for the team’s attack and backline play for the 2018 rugby season. With a highly successful coaching track record that includes coaching The Sharks to the Final of the 2007 Super Rugby tournament as well as his role as assistant coach of the Springboks from 2008 – 2011, Muir alongside Head Coach Robert du Preez will bring extensive knowledge, experience and grit to the portfolio.

The Sharks CEO, Gary Teichmann said: “Dick’s coaching record and his passion for the game makes him the ideal person for the role. He is passionate about this team, our proud history and helping to take us forward. “He has a lot to offer in terms of shaping our attack as well as mentoring and guiding our young backline to reach their full potential. After a break, we are happy that he has decided to return to the coaching fore with his expertise and technical astuteness.

Dick Muir added: “I am very excited to once again be involved with the Cell C Sharks as a consultant, and I look forward to helping them achieve their vision. Together with Gary and Robert and the rest of the management team, our plan is to bring the team back to where they once were. “Rugby coaching is a passion for me and despite having taken a break from full-time coaching; I never have not been involved at some level of the structures. My role in the Investec International Rugby Academy and with Northwood School has kept me in touch with what is happening in the game and has fueled my passion to be a part of shaping the future of the Cell C Sharks.

Looking ahead to 2018, du Preez stated: It’s important for us to kick-on from where we left off in 2017. A strong team culture is paramount to success and the basis of our culture centres around a strong work ethic, respect for each other and our jersey. “We are fortunate to have a loyal group of players who’ve bought into the strong long-term vision that we are working towards. As a coaching unit, we are committed to providing our players with the technical skills and game plan, with which they can develop and eventually stake a claim for higher honours.

After a short break, our pre-season training commences on Monday and we are excited to get going. There is a lot of hard work that lies ahead in preparation for the 2018 season and beyond, which we as a team will tackle together”, concluded du Preez. The Sharks also take this opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by Sean Everitt and Ryan Strudwick in their time as assistant coaches of the senior team. As an experienced age-group coach, Sean Everitt will now have the key responsibility of managing a talented group of U/19 players making their way into professional rugby in 2018, whilst Ryan Strudwick will be pursuing other opportunities.

We thank them for their dedication and commitment and we wish them the very best for the next chapter in their coaching careers.