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Rugby | Currie Cup

Geldenhuys out to make a statement

A few months ago Ross Geldenhuys was part of the emotional Southern Kings celebrations on the Saturday night after their epic win over the Cell C Sharks, but now he is playing for the Durban team and says he is where he has always wanted to be.

The 34 year old product of the Eastern Cape’s city of the Saints, Grahamstown, has been well travelled in his rugby career. Most South Africans will remember him for his time at the Lions before he popped up as part of a Highlanders team that won Super Rugby in 2015, but he has also played for Border, Western Province, Boland, the Cheetahs and the Griffons.

The veteran prop though gives the impression that one of the few unions missing from his rugby CV is one he would like to have played for a long time ago, and that the probability that Durban will be the place that he sees out his professional rugby career pleases him.

“My father is a Western Province supporter so it annoyed him that I always supported the Sharks (growing up),” said Geldenhuys.

“Over the years I wanted to come to the Sharks but it just never worked out. So when the opportunity arose a short while ago, I jumped at the chance. I have been around a bit and Durban is a great place. I have a young family, and another child on the way, so I am pleased at how things have worked out. This is a great part of the world to settle down.”

He may not have accumulated quite the mileage in travelling from union to union and franchise to franchise that his former Kings captain Lionel Cronje has, and current WP fullback SP Marais has also moved around a bit, but there are not many others who have moved about more than he has.

“It has just worked out like that for me. I have felt as a professional rugby player you have to look after yourself. So when I heard that Lourens Adriaanse was leaving the Sharks to go to France, and me being a tighthead who always wanted to play for the Sharks, I didn’t really need much persuading.”

Of course the fact that there was so much uncertainty about the Southern Kings’ future in Super Rugby would have helped Geldenhuys make that decision, but during his time with the Eastern Cape team he was part of the leadership group and his experience and ability to lead could prove useful to the Sharks going forward. So can his scrumming ability at a union that has a strong set-piece culture.

“I have not been around that long, but already in my time in Durban I can see a good scrum mentality. We pushed the Pumas off the ball a few times last week. We have the Beast (Mtawarira) injured and Coenie Oosthuizen with the Boks so while there will be a lot of competition for places in next year’s Super Rugby, the Currie Cup will be a good chance for me to make a statement.”


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