With the search for a Super Rugby coach still ongoing, Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold will coach their Currie Cup side this year.
After a disappointing Super Rugby campaign, Gold has made it clear that he intends to step away from a hands-on role in coaching at the Union so that he can focus on his role as director, overseeing the structures in the organisation as a whole.
But on Friday it was confirmed that he will continue as coach in the interest of "continuity" as the suitable candidate to take over from Brad Macleod-Henderson, who recently resigned, has yet to be found.
Gold will be supported by the experienced backline coach Sean Everitt and Ryan Strudwick, who will look after the forwards.
Everitt has been part of the assistant coaching staff since the departure of John Plumtree and has worked with many of the Sharks players through the various age-group ranks.
Strudwick recently won the Varsity Shield trophy with the UKZN Impis and has also been involved in the Sharks coaching set-up for a few years.
"For the first time since I arrived, I am satisfied that there is continuity and clarity amongst the various age-groups and this has been achieved through the redeployment of the coaching structures," said Gold.
"The historic structure lacked the necessary focus throughout the age-groups. We had approached and considered a replacement for Brad. However, we have after consultation with all stakeholders including the team, decided within this new framework, that it will be in the best interest of the team and for continuity for me to oversee the campaign with the assistance of Sean and Ryan."
To this end, Michael Horak, who was the Sharks’ defence coach during Super Rugby and who enjoyed success with Varsity Cup side UFS Shimlas will head up the U/21 campaign and will be assisted by AB Zondagh.
The U/19 team will be headed-up by Paul Anthony who brings with him a wealth of experience as well as success having won the competition twice with the Blue Bulls. His deputy will be Andre Barnard.
"My long-term vision though is to place particular emphasis on our academy, local clubs and school structures. This is a critical focus area that will enable us to ensure that the very best home grown talent get the opportunity to come through the Cell C Sharks ranks", concluded Gold.