New Midfield Partnership

Although the Cell C Sharks team selected to travel to Cape Town for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with the DHL Stormers on Saturday shows minimal changes, there is a new selection in the midfield that has been necessitated through injury to Ben Tapuai.

Following on from last week’s draw against the same opponents at Hollywoodbets Kings Park, head coach Sean Everitt has not tinkered too much with the team for the return leg.

The forward pack that dominated the Stormers at scrum time has been given an overwhelming thumbs up, while Everitt has swapped the jerseys of flyhalf and scrumhalf, with Jaden Hendrikse starting at nine and Argentine international Tito Bonilla at 10, with last week’s incumbents Grant Williams and Boeta Chamberlain playing off the bench.

With the injury to inside centre Ben Tapuai, captain Lukhanyo Am has shifted into his place with Jeremy Ward coming off the bench and into the starting line-up at outside centre.

This opens the door for Werner Kok to wear the number 23 jersey, with the final change seeing Reniel Hugo making way for Gerbrandt Grobler.

While there was a lot to enthuse about in the first leg clash with the Stormers last week, one concern was not closing out the victory when the Cell C Sharks held a decent lead.

This is not a structural issue but more about composure and bringing an element of ruthlessness to their game that Everitt will have outlined in the preparations to this match and exhorted his players to adopt this week.

With just two points separating the Cell C Sharks and Stormers on the URC table, every log point counts and this match presents the opportunity to put some daylight between them and the chasing South African sides.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 17h05.

Cell C Sharks
1. Ox Nche
2. Bongi Mbonambi
3. Thomas du Toit (v/c)
4. Ruben van Heerden
5. Hyron Andrews
6. Siya Kolisi
7. Jeandre Labuschagne
8. Phepsi Buthelezi
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Tito Bonilla
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Lukhanyo Am (c)
13. Jeremy Ward
14. Sbu Nkosi
15. Aphelele Fassi

16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Khutha Mchunu
19. Gerbrandt Grobler
20. Henco Venter
21. Grant Williams
22. Boeta Chamberlain
23. Werner Kok