Mark Richards (rugby union)

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Mark Richards
Date of birth (1989-09-09) 9 September 1989 (age 29)
Place of birth Springs, South Africa
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Weight 82 kg (12 st 13 lb; 181 lb)
School Michaelhouse, KwaZulu-Natal
Rugby union career
Position(s) Winger / Fullback
Current team Sharks XV
Youth Career
2007–2010 Sharks
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010–2011 Sharks (Currie Cup) 21 (40)
2014–2015 Golden Lions 16 (5)
2015 Lions 1 (0)
2016–present Sharks (Currie Cup) 0 (0)
Correct as of 2 November 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011–2014 South Africa Sevens ()
Correct as of 18 September 2014
Medal record
Men's rugby sevens
Representing  South Africa
World Games
Gold medal – first place 2013 Cali Team
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 2014 Glasgow Team

Mark Richards (born 9 September 1989 in Springs, South Africa) is a South African rugby union player, currently playing with the Sharks XV.[1] His regular position is winger.

He also won gold medals as part of the South African Sevens side that won the rugby sevens tournaments at the 2013 World Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Career

Youth

Richards went to Michaelhouse school in KwaZulu-Natal and earned a call-up to the KwaZulu-Natal Under-18 side that played at the Academy Week competition in 2007.

He then joined the Durban-based Sharks academy and played for the Sharks U19 side in the 2008 Under-19 Provincial Championship and for the Sharks U21 side in the 2009 and 2010 Under-21 Provincial Championships. The latter season also saw Richards scoring a hat-trick in their 106–3 victory over Boland U21 in Durban.[2]

Sharks

He made his first class debut for the Sharks XV during the 2010 Vodacom Cup competition when he started their match against the Border Bulldogs.[3] He appeared in all nine of their matches in the competition (starting eight of those), failing to score any points for his side as they reached the Semi-final of the competition.

He returned to the Sharks XV side for the 2011 Vodacom Cup competition, scoring six tries in six starts for the side, including two in their match against the Leopards in Durban.[4] He finished as the Sharks' second-highest try scorer behind Kobus de Kock and joint-7th overall.[5] He also made his Currie Cup debut in 2011; he started four of their matches during the season – a 35–16 victory over the Blue Bulls in Durban,[6] a 23–22 victory over the Pumas in Nelspruit,[7] a 43–34 home victory over the Free State Cheetahs – which also saw Richards score his first Currie Cup try in the fourth minute of the match[8] – and a 43–22 defeat to Griquas in Kimberley.[9]

Sevens

At the end of 2010, Richards was included in the South African Sevens team for the 2010 Dubai Sevens leg of the 2010–11 IRB Sevens World Series. He appeared in a further three tournaments during the 2010–11 season and in five tournaments in the 2011–12 IRB Sevens World Series. A chest injury[10] and an Achilles tendon injury[11] ruled him out of the entire 2012–13 IRB Sevens World Series, but he returned to the team for the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia, where he helped them win the gold medal match against Argentina,[12] scoring a try and a conversion to secure a 33–24 victory.[13]

He played in three tournaments during the 2013–14 IRB Sevens World Series before winning another gold medal with the team, this time at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where South Africa beat New Zealand 17–12 in the final.[14]

Golden Lions

In 2014, Richards made a return to the 15-man version of the game when he joined the Golden Lions during the 2014 Currie Cup Premier Division.[15] He made his debut for the Lions during their Round Five match against Gauteng rivals the Blue Bulls.[16]

Southern Kings

At the end of 2015, Richards was one of a number of players that joined the Southern Kings prior to their return to Super Rugby for the 2016 season.[17] However, the Eastern Province Kings – the provincial union that was supposed to administer the Super Rugby team – suffered serious financial problems and the South African Rugby Union stepped in to assist the Super Rugby franchise;[18] however, Richards was not one of the players contracted by SARU to represent the Southern Kings.[19] After being unpaid for several months, he was one of eighteen players involved in submitting an application to get Eastern Province Rugby liquidated in an attempt to recoup unpaid salary payments.[20]

Sharks

He returned to Durban and was named in the Sharks XV squad for the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series.[21]

References

  1. ^ "SA Rugby Player Profile – Mark Richards". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  2. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Sharks 106-3 Boland". South African Rugby Union. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  3. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Sharks XV 69-8 Border". South African Rugby Union. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  4. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Sharks XV 38-7 Leopards". South African Rugby Union. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  5. ^ "SA Rugby Try Scorers – 2011 Vodacom Cup". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – The Sharks 35-16 Vodacom Blue Bulls". South African Rugby Union. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Ford Pumas 22-23 The Sharks". South African Rugby Union. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  8. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – The Sharks 43-34 Toyota Free State Cheetahs". South African Rugby Union. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  9. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – GWK Griquas 43-22 The Sharks". South African Rugby Union. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Sewes se skete bekyk" (in Afrikaans). Die Son. 15 February 2012. Archived from the original on 18 September 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Paul kies twee nuwelinge vir eerste toernooi in Australië" (in Afrikaans). Die Burger. 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 18 September 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  12. ^ "The World Games Competition Information System : Rugby Sevens". The World Games. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Rugby Sevens: Men's Finals Gold Medal Match". World Games. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Glasgow 2014 – Men's Rugby Sevens Gold Medal Match". Glasgow 2014. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Lions beef up bench for Bulls". SAPA. IOL. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  16. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls 36-26 Xerox Golden Lions". South African Rugby Union. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  17. ^ "EP Rugby Statement". Rugby15. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  18. ^ "SARU steps in to assist the Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise" (Press release). South African Rugby Union. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Southern Kings announce first signings" (Press release). South African Rugby Union. 13 December 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Plight of EP players revealed". SA Rugby Magazine. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  21. ^ "SA Rugby Squad – Cell C Sharks XV : 2016 Currie Cup Qualifying". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
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