Springbok hooker Mbonambi to leave Stormers for Sharks

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Bongi Mbonambi (C) playing for the Stormers against the Lions in Cape Town last year.

Rugby World Cup-winning hooker Bongi Mbonambi will change franchises in South Africa this year, moving from the Stormers in Cape Town to the Sharks in Durban.

No transfer date was given when an announcement was made on Tuesday which confirmed media speculation the 30-year-old hooker would be following in the footsteps of Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi.

Loose forward Kolisi, who led South Africa to victory over England in the 2019 World Cup final in Japan, moved from the Stormers to the Sharks four months ago.

Mbonambi has improved so dramatically in recent seasons that he displaced Malcolm Marx -- once rated the best hooker in the world -- as the first-choice Springbok ahead of the World Cup campaign.

Both forwards were included last Saturday in a 46-man national squad that is preparing for Test series against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions during July and August.

Born in central town Bethlehem and educated in Pretoria, Mbonambi began his professional career in 2012 with the Bulls and moved to the Stormers three years later.

The Sharks and the Stormers, along with the Bulls in Pretoria and the Lions in Johannesburg, are the four major franchises in South African rugby.

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