Super Rugby
Sharks confirm Du Plessis and Alberts departures
ESPN Staff
June 9, 2015
Bismarck du Plessis is one of three Sharks stalwarts departing the franchise © Getty Images

The Sharks are set to wave goodbye to three long-serving players as Willem Alberts and Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis prepare to leave the Super Rugby franchise.

A Sharks statement admitted they had been unable to secure the players' services beyond the current season, with the trio set to make their final appearances for the squad against the high-flying Stormers at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Hooker Bismarck du Plessis is the Sharks' most-capped player at Super Rugby level, having appeared 129 for the Durban-based franchise since his debut in 2005. Brother Jannie joined the Sharks from the Cheetahs in 2008 and has since gone on to make 117 Super Rugby appearances for the team.

The pair have represented South Africa in two Rugby World Cups - in 2007 and 2011 - and together share the record (42) for most Springbok Tests as brothers.

Alberts made his Sharks debut in 2010 after moving to Durban from the Lions and has since appeared in 72 Super Rugby matches, as well as 32 Springbok Tests.

Sharks chief executive John Smit said: "These three gents have played an instrumental and invaluable role at the Sharks over the years. It is naturally disappointing to lose these calibre of players that have given so much to Sharks rugby. As in many senior statesmen's careers they felt the time was right to experience something different abroad.

"We will never forget the many courageous performances from these three players, the countless outstanding performances and steals from Bissy, the rock solid anchor at tighthead in Jannie and the enforcer in Willem. Not to mention Jannie playing the victorious Currie Cup Final in 2013 with a broken hand."

"On behalf of the Sharks I take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication, commitment and outstanding contribution to the franchise. We wish them and their families the very best for this new chapter they are embarking on."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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