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Sharks Lions Twitter feud erupts over van Rensburg 'fake news'

By Ian Cameron
Rohan Janse Van Rensburg

The Sharks have called out Super Rugby franchise rivals the Lions over an erroneous tweet which suggested one of their players was heading to the South African based Sharks.


The Lions released a statement saying that centre Janse Van Rensburg was being released to the C Cell Sharks, when in fact he was being signed by the Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership.

On Tuesday the Sale Sharks announced that they had captured Van Rensburg.

Both Sale Sharks and the Lions have agreed that Rohan can join the English side on a permanent basis after his successful loan spell with the club during the 2017/18 season. The player is contracted until November 2018 however the Lions have agreed to release him five months early.

However the Lions posted that he was being released to the C Cell Sharks in South Africa, which the Sharks were quick to pounce on, posting:

“Although we think he is an awesome player, @LionsRugbyCo centre Rohan Janse Van Rensburg will not be joining #OurSharks squad, but is rather going to the @SaleSharksRugby for their next season. #fakenews”

Things heated up when the Lions replied “Anyone willing to explain to the @TheSharksZA what #FakeNews is? Don’t believe everything you read, especially on social media. #NoFakeNewsHere”


The Sharks replied: “If you can’t trust yourself @LionsRugbyCo, who can you trust? ?”

The Lions replied: “Touché, @TheSharksZA. Pity he still didn’t pick you ????”


It all appeared to come to a truce of sorts.

“Breakups are tough hey @LionsRugbyCo? Luckily we’ve got our centre baes sorted already ?”

The 23-year-old Springbok began his professional career with the Blue Bulls in 2013, making seven appearances and scoring four tries before moving to the Lions rugby set-up where he was a key figure for the Golden Lions in their Currie Cup campaigns.

A breakthrough season in 2016 saw Van Rensburg cross the line 10 times in just 17 games which drew the attention of the rugby world and, in particular, Steve Diamond.

Arriving at Sale in November on a short-term contract as cover for the injured Johnny Leota and Will Addison, Rohan made an instant impact, scoring 3 tries in 8 games. More importantly, the young Springbok added a much-needed physical presence to the Sharks backline.

On his return to South Africa he was quickly slotted into the Lions starting XV for the Super Rugby season, showing his versatility and power, playing on the wing before being side-lined with an ankle injury vs the Stormers in May.

Van Rensburg will be released from his Super Rugby contract to join up with Sale Sharks for Pre-Season in advance of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership campaign.

Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond is very pleased to announce the signing, he said:

“I am delighted to have secured the services of Rohan for the next three years. He made a huge impact when he joined midway through last season and is another building block in our desire to be a top four team.”

Rohan admitted the chance to link up with Sale and close friend Faf De Klerk was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. He said:
“This was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make so far in my career. However, having spent a short time with the Sharks last season, I know where the club wants to go and what everyone at Sale is building towards. It is something I definitely want to be a part of.”


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