Jour­ney­man Gelden­huys happy to prop-up the Sharks

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MIKE GREEN­AWAY

IT IS hard to imag­ine a more trav­elled rugby player than Gra­ham­stown’s Ross Gelden­huys, and it is pleas­ing for the Sharks that the prop has cho­sen to park his wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in Dur­ban now that he has hit the twi­light of his ca­reer.

Since leav­ing school at St An­drews’ Col­lege has played for Border, WP, Bulls, Pu­mas, Golden Lions, Boland, the Chee­tahs and the Grif­fons, be­fore el­e­vat­ing to Su­per Rugby at the Stormers, Lions, Kings, the High­lander and lat­terly the 2017 Kings.

That is some ac­cu­mu­la­tion of jer­seys, not to men­tion ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Much to the an­noy­ance of my fa­ther (a WP sup­porter), I have al­ways sup­ported the Sharks,” the ge­nial 34-yearold, pic­tured, said.

“Over the years, I have wanted to come to the Sharks but it has not worked out,” he smiled. “So, when the op­por­tu­nity arose a short while ago, I jumped at the chance. I have been around a bit and Dur­ban is a great place and I have a young fam­ily, and an­other child on the way, so I am very pleased at how things have worked put. This is a great part of the world to set­tle down.”

“It just worked out that I moved around a lot. I have felt as a pro­fes­sional rugby player you have to look after your­self,” he said. “Then when Lourens Adri­aanse an­nounced that he was mov­ing from the Sharks to France, I needed no per­suad­ing being a tight­head who al­ways wanted to move to the Sharks!” And hav­ing scrummed around the world, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to dom­i­nate up front.

Ge­nial fel­low that he is, he is happy to point out that of­ten the props are at the mercy of the for­wards be­hind them.

“Scrum­ming is tough enough and more than ever it is be­com­ing an eight-man bat­tle, so if one guy is sleep­ing, the prop can look bad, and there have been times when I have cursed a lock or loose forward for not pulling his weight,” he grinned. “You can look bad if the guys be­hind you are not push­ing their weight and leave you ex­posed.”

Gelden­huys says he can’t see that hap­pen­ing at the Sharks.

“I have not been here that long but I can al­ready see a good scrum men­tal­ity and we pushed the Pu­mas off the ball a few times,” he said. “The Sharks are proud of their scrum­ming and we have The Beast (in­jured) and Coe­nie (Oosthuizen) to come back for Su­per Rugby next year, and I am happy that I have the Cur­rie Cup to en­trench my­self and make a state­ment.”

The Sharks host Gri­quas on Fri­day night.

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