KwaZulu-Natal Premier congratulates Sharks on 'victory for transformation in the sport'

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has extended her heartfelt congratulations to the Sharks team for their ‘outstanding achievement’ in winning the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Sharks put in a dominant display to comfortably see off Gloucester 36-22 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Sharks are the pride of KwaZulu-Natal

In claiming the trophy the Sharks not only nabbed their biggest piece of silverware to date but also qualified for next season’s Champions Cup.

The Sharks missed out on this season’s Champions Cup campaign despite finishing eighth in last term’s URC due to the Shield system which has since been abandoned.

It had undoubtedly become the Sharks main focus to win the Challenge Cup after a disastrous URC run left them unable to gain the playoffs.

Dube-Ncube also noted the exemplary determination displayed by the Sharks who had to play their semi-final and the final in England.

She further recognised the impact of having nine Springboks in the Sharks lineup.

"This triumph is not only a testament to the exceptional skill and determination of the Sharks, but also highlights the strength of South African rugby on the global stage.

“Notably, this team included around nine players who proudly represented our nation in the Springboks, successfully defending the Rugby World Cup in 2023," said Premier Dube-Ncube.

‘It is a victory for transformation in the sport, reflecting our commitment to inclusivity and diversity’

The Premier added that the success of the Sharks goes beyond the rugby field.

She feels that the Sharks have reflected the commitment of the province to being inclusive and celebrating diversity.

The Premier also said: "It is a victory for transformation in the sport, reflecting our commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The Sharks are a beacon of hope and pride for people of colour, inspiring future generations and breaking barriers within the sport.

"This remarkable win comes at a crucial time, uplifting the spirits of the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as we approach the provincial and national elections on 29 May 2024. It is a reminder of the power of unity, resilience, and excellence.

"To the players, coaches, and everyone associated with the Sharks, we are incredibly proud of your accomplishment. Your hard work and dedication have brought immense pride to our province and our country. Congratulations on making history and setting a new standard for South African rugby," said Premier Dube-Ncube.

The Sharks are expected to take the trophy on a parade around Durban in the near future.