At 15, Marius Louw had a heart operation, which led to doctors saying he would never play rugby again. But in 2018, he was in the Sharks team which won the Currie Cup.
That’s when the aspirant professional learnt his most important lesson: ‘never give up’. He defied medical prognosis and six months after a heart operation was back on the field.
That was a major milestone in the Cell C Sharks centre’s career. Another was: “Scoring my first Currie Cup try against the Toyota Cheetahs only 30 seconds after coming off the bench.”
It was virtually destined to be. Marius recalls: “In 2013 the Cell C Sharks played DHL Western Province in the Currie Cup final the day I celebrated my 18th birthday. I had already signed my contract at the Cell C Sharks to join the following year. My family watched the match together and when the Cell C Sharks won I knew that in the years to come I could be standing on that podium as well if I put in the hard yards.”
This season Cell C Sharks fans will be hoping to see Marius and his teammates back on that podium again.
The 2018 Currie Cup winners, the Cell C Sharks, have won the Currie Cup trophy eight times - including four times under their former name, Natal.They struggled in the early stages of the competition, with the team advancing to the final for the first time in 1956 and winning the trophy for the first time in 1990. The Cell C Sharks have been runners-up on 9 occasions and the last time they were triumphant was in 2018 with a victory against DHL Western Province at Newlands.
The Cell C Sharks – back then as Natal - won their first Currie Cup trophy in 1990 by defeating then Northern Transvaal 18-12 in Pretoria. This win propelled the side to powerhouse status.
Ollie le Roux, Dick Muir, Ruan Pienaar, Rory Kockott, Tendai Beast Mtawarira, JP Pietersen, Bismarck du Plessis, Keegan Daniel and Ryan Kankowski are just some of the names that made a huge impact in the Cell C Sharks jersey.