Du Preez takes Sharks job after Gold quits

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Robert du Preez will take charge of Sharks for the 2017 Super Rugby season after director of rugby Gary Gold quit the Durban franchise.

Gold spent two years in the top job at Kings Park, but Sharks revealed on Thursday that he has stepped down in order to pursue another potentially exciting avenue in his rugby career.

Sharks Currie Cup head coach and former South Africa international Du Preez has been named as his successor.

Gold said: "I have had an unbelievably enjoyable two years in Durban, with many highs and a few lows. There is an exciting group of youngsters that are currently in the system, who have great futures ahead of them.

"I look forward to the next challenge in my career and I would like to thank everyone at The Sharks for the great memories and the wonderful opportunity I was given to be at the helm of a fantastic team, the Cell C Sharks."

Sharks chief executive Gary Teichmann said: "We respect Gary's decision to move closer to home to pursue this opportunity and we thank him for his positive contribution and efforts during a period of transition with the Sharks.

"During this time there have been some Sharks stalwarts who moved on while a young and exciting squad has been assembled, opening up a new phase in our history.

"In his role as director of rugby, there were many systems implemented that will aid our growth in the coming years. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him and his family the very best moving forward."

Teichmann said of Gold's replacement: "Robert is a true son of KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) and is a passionate Sharks man. Having played here, he understands the culture we want to create and our vision moving forward.

"We extend our best wishes to Robert and his coaching team as they commence their pre-season training programme on Monday, ahead of the start of next year's tournament."