Sharks Face Important Challenge

There is no resting on laurels for the Cell C Sharks as they travel to Johannesburg to take on the Xerox Lions in Saturday evening’s crunch Carling Currie Cup match.

After beating the high-riding Vodacom Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park last weekend and maintaining a 100% success rate at home for 2020, the Cell C Sharks are back on the road knowing that a similarly intense and committed 80-minute performance will be required against a rejuvenated Lions’ side showing consistently good form of late to keep their unblemished record in the competition.

The Cell C Sharks have a game in hand, having won both of their fixtures in the Currie Cup, knowing that a win on Saturday will hamper the Bulls’ title hopes as they chase down a five point gap on the log. The Lions are three points adrift in fourth place and given their form of late after a slowish start to their Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked campaign, must be considered highly dangerous opposition.

Cell C Sharks Head Coach Sean Everitt has made a few changes to his side this week.

Kerron van Vuuren is back as the starting hooker with the impressive Michael Kumbirai named as the tighthead prop after the loss of Thomas du Toit to a rib injury sustained in the Cell C Sharks’ 32-29 victory over the Bulls in Durban last weekend.

JJ van der Mescht and Ashton Fortuin form a new second row partnership in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up captained by Lukhanyo Am.

The 114kg Fortuin has turned out for the Bulls and more recently with the Southern Kings and combined with the 120kg van der Mescht, adds bulk and strength to the pack.

Returning to the side and playing off the bench are front row replacements Fezo Mbatha, Mzamo Majola and John Hubert-Meyer, while loose forward James Venter is another welcome returnee after missing recent action.

The match at Emirates Airline Park kicks off at 7pm on Saturday.

Cell C Sharks

1. Ox Nche
2. Kerron van Vuuren
3. Michael Kumbirai
4. JJ van der Mescht
5. Aston Fortuin*
6. Dylan Richardson
7. Henco Venter
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Sanele Nohamba
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Yaw Penxe
12. Marius Louw
13. Lukhanyo Am (c)
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Manie Libbok

16. Fezo Mbatha
17. Mzamo Majola
18. John Hubert-Meyer
19. Thembelani Bholi
20. James Venter
21. Phepsi Buthelezi
22. Jaden Hendrikse
23. Jeremy Ward

*Denotes debut for the Cell C Sharks.