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The Sharks were one of the maiden South African teams in Super Rugby competition, being established in 1996. The Sharks made the final in their first year, going down to the Blues in the decider. Despite making four Super Rugby finals, the Sharks are yet to win a title, with their latest loss a crushing final defeat to the Chiefs in 2012.
The Sharks have made a habit of sneaking into the finals lately, and that’s just what they did last season. Despite only winning seven of their 16 matches, they managed to get fingers on the eighth and final playoff spot – only to get hammered by the Crusaders in a quarter-final.
While very few would seriously peg the club as a genuine title contender, some instability within the South African conference should allow them to take advantage of their vulnerable finals and steal a playoff spot once again.
Coach: Robert du Preez
Captain: Louis Schreuder
2018 finish: 3rd South African conference, 8th overall
Sharks 2019 Super Rugby squad
Louis Schreuder (c), Andre Esterhuizen, Andrew Evans, Aphelele Fassi, Armand van der Merwe, Cameron Wright, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Coenraad Oosthuizen, Courtney Winnaar, Curwin Bosch, Daniel du Preez, Dylan Richardson, Fezokuhle Mbatha, Gideon Koegelenberg, Grant Williams, Hyron Andrews, Jacobus van Wyk, Jacques Vermuelen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Jeremy Ward, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Khuthuzani Mchunu, Kwanda Dimaza, Leolin Zas, Lubabalo Mtembu, Luke Stringer, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Muller du Plessis, Mzamo Majola, Phendulani Buthelezi, Philip van der Walt, Rhyno Smith, Robert du Preez, Ruan Botha, Ruben van Heerden, Sanele Nohamba, Sibusiso Nkosi, Tendai Mtawarira, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul, Wian Vosloo