05 Jun 2020
Blitzboks legend Werner Kok has explained what appealed to him about joining the Sharks.
Kok has been part of the SA sevens set-up since 2013, during which time the Blitzboks claimed Commonwealth Games gold, Olympic bronze and two World Rugby Sevens Series titles. In 2015, he won the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year award.
Having had short stints with Western Province and Toulouse as a centre/wing, Kok has now decided to focus fully on fifteens and will join the Sharks in July.
‘I’ve enjoyed my time at the sevens – it was an awesome experience – and I owe my whole rugby career to the sevens,’ he told Cato Louw during a RugbyRocks.com Instagram Live chat on Thursday night.
‘The other day, I went through all the photos and started packing away the jerseys … every jersey reminds me of something from that tournament. But I think it’s time for me to move on.
‘It’s going to be sad to leave,’ he admitted. ‘Hopefully, the lockdown can ease off a little bit and we can get a few friends together for a lunch, a coffee or a few beers.’
Kok says he is ‘very, very excited’ to be joining the Sharks and ‘can’t wait to get to Durban’. But what was it about the Sharks that made him sign on the dotted line?
‘When the deal was on the table, they got a new coach [Sean Everitt], they got new players and they brought in a new culture. From what I’ve heard, it’s similar to the sevens culture and is something I really want to be part of.
'It’s all about being a family and you can see that from the way they’ve played, it’s why they are doing so well. What happens off the field that’s right makes it so much better on the field.
‘I haven’t met Sean before, I’ve only spoken with him on the phone. But I’ve heard some exciting things from him and am excited to play under him.’
Kok is also keen to become part of a potent Sharks backline.
‘The whole backline is so quick and explosive, from Lukhanyo [Am] straight through to [Makazole] Mapimpi, they’re all just phenomenal players. I want to slot into that backline and hopefully I can do my bit.’