Sharks sign up former England fly half

England flyhalf Andy Goode signed with the Sharks on a short-term loan deal on Thursday.

The South African outfit said on its Web site that it had secured the services of the 29-year-old Goode from French club Brive for the upcoming away leg of its Super 14 campaign.

Goode, who has 17 caps for England, will join up with the Sharks for the five-week tour of Australia and New Zealand which begins next week.

The Sharks lost Argentina international flyhalf Juan Hernandez for the season to a back injury and promising No. 10 Steve Meyer announced his surprise retirement last week, forcing it to search for an experienced backup to Springbok Ruan Pienaar.

Earlier on Thursday the Durban team said it had secured the services of Bulls second row Wilhelm Steenkamp on loan until the end of the Super 14 season.

“Bringing these two players to the Sharks has certainly bolstered our squad depth significantly as the pair come with a huge amount of experience and will bring something special to the team,” coach John Plumtree said.

“Andy Goode’s reputation at Leicester and for England speaks for itself and to take a top quality competition like the Super 14 seriously, you need top quality players like him.”

Plumtree also thanked the Bulls for releasing Steenkamp, who played for the Emerging Boks against the British and Irish Lions last year.

“We certainly appreciate their kind gesture of releasing a player to a union who needs him right now,” Plumtee said.

Following Friday’s clash with the Cheetahs, the Sharks face a daunting away leg beginning at the seven-time champion Crusaders next Saturday.

The South Africans then play the Waratahs, Brumbies, Highlanders and the Hurricanes on consecutive weekends.

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