The four South African sides competing in the upcoming Vodacom Super Rugby tournament will all be in action in Soweto this Sunday as the teams conclude their pre-season preparations.
The Cell C Sharks will take on the DHL Stormers, while the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls will go head-to-head in the second match of an exciting double-header feature.
Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has his Springboks back after they were kept out of last week’s warm-up match with Russia, but he now has a full squad to choose from. He has selected 28 players to make the trip to Johannesburg.
“We are on track and pleased with where we are at the moment,” the coach explains. “The new things we introduced in the off-season came through in the match against Russia, we just need to polish that up a bit. We also expect the returning Springboks to lift the standard, they’ve come to training with a fantastic attitude and they’re keen to get going. The World Cup finished in November and they’re excited about playing again and to show why they are world cup champions.
“We’re very fortunate at our union to have players so excited about playing for the Cell C Sharks.”
He went on to point on that Sunday would be a dress rehearsal for the team as it’s their last hit-out before a Vodacom Super Rugby starts; and an opportunity for the players to put together a good performance.
Although this is a warm-up match, neither team will go into the clash satisfied with losing and the expectations are for a fiercely-contested game.
“There are no friendly games in rugby – we probably call this a friendly because there are no log points at stake – but want to show a lot of intensity, it’s something we’ve worked on, we want a high work rate, we want a lot of energy and that’s what we want the crowd to judge us on.
“I think it will be an unforgiving game. It’s a big day for everyone; the players will feel that they’re on trial and it will be a full-on contest.
“Hopefully it’s a great spectacle.”
Cell C Sharks for Super Sunday
Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi, Boeta Chamberlain, Curwin Bosch, Jeremy Ward, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Madosh Tambwe, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Sanele Nohamba, Sbu Nkosi.
Forwards: Dylan Richardson, Henco Venter, Hyron Andrews, James Venter, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Kerron van Vuuren, Le Roux Roets, Mzamo Majola, Ox Nche, Ruben van Heerden, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Tera Mtembu, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul.
Cell C Sharks XV to play Russia: 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Craig Burden, 3. Khutha Mchunu, 4. Lunga Ncube, 5. Jordan Sesink-Clee, 6. Evan Roos, 7. Celimpilo Gumede, 8. Phepsi Buthelezi, 9. Cameron Wright, 10. Jordan Chait, 11. Asanda Kunene, 12. Murray Koster, 13. DJ Falconer, 14. Mtungwa Mapantsela, 15. Thaakir Abrahams. Replacements: 16. Cullen van der Merwe, 17. Bandisa Ndlovu, 18. Michael Kumbirai, 19. Jandre Labuschagne, 20. Andisa Ntsila, 21. Kwanda Dimaza, 22. Grant Williams, 23. Jaden Hendrikse, 24. Le Roux Malan, 25. Rynhardt Jonker, 26. Lwandile Menze.