The Cell C Sharks open their account of the Currie Cup Premier Division Competition following the qualifying portion with an away game against the Pumas, traveling to Mbombela Stadium for Friday night’s first round clash.
Currie Cup Head Coach Robert du Preez has not tinkered much with the side he worked with as part of the Super Rugby coaching staff and continuity is the name of the game as minimal disruptions, with a few new players to fill in the odd gap, will hopefully ensure that there is no nervous start, but rather a steely determination to play with confidence, passion and excitement.
Following the departure of Paul Jordaan, his replacement at outside centre Lukhanyo Am is one of two new faces in the starting line-up, the other is wing Neil Maritz. The pair have graduated through the age group ranks, but with the inclusion of the pair, the side closely resembles what we have seen in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
This bodes well as far as continuity goes, with a big Super Rugby contingent carrying on where they left off in the Currie Cup competition.
“We’re blessed with having the same pack of forwards basically and that should give us great confidence,” explains Coach Robert du Preez.
“We do have a couple of guys coming into the backline, with the Boks being out, but I am very positive about what’s lying ahead.”
Flyhalf Curwin Bosch is an exciting young player who was given opportunities late in the Super Rugby campaign and stood up to the challenge.
The Cell C Sharks
|15. Odwa Ndungane||Replacements:|
|14. Neil Maritz||16. Chiliboy Ralepelle|
|13. Lukhanyo Am||17. Thomas du Toit|
|12. Andre Esterhuizen||18. Ruan Botha|
|11. S’bura Sithole||19. Tera Mtembu|
|10. Curwin Bosch||20. Stefan Ungerer|
|9. Michael Claassens||21. Inny Radebe|
|8. Philip van der Walt||22. Heimar Williams|
|7. Jean-Luc du Preez|
|6. Keegan Daniel (Captain)|
|5. Stephan Lewies|
|4. Etienne Oosthuizen|
|3. Lourens Adriaanse|
|2. Franco Marais|
|1. Dale Chadwick|