On Thursday 5 February, 2015 the Cell C Sharks will play Toulon in a pre-season friendly at the Stade Mayol in a North vs South Challenge match.
This match gives fans the opportunity of seeing the likes of Mouritz Botha and Renaldo Bothma (forwards) and Paul Perez and Waylon Murray (backs) in action for the Cell C Sharks, along with team regulars in a competitive pre-season hit-out against the four time French National competition winners and back-to-back Heineken Cup champions in 2013 and 2014.
The following players make up the touring squad to France:
Forwards: Bismarck du Plessis; Dale Chadwick; Etienne Oosthuizen; Kyle Cooper; Lourens Adriaanse; Tera Mtembu; Marcell Coetzee; Marco Wentzel; Matt Stevens; Monde Hadebe; Mouritz Botha; Pieter-Steph du Toit; Renaldo Bothma; Beast Mtawarira
Backs: Andre Esterhuizen; Cobus Reinach; Conrad Hoffmann; Fred Zeilinga; Heimar Williams; Lwazi Mvovo; Odwa Ndungane; Patrick Lambie; Paul Perez; S’bura Sithole; SP Marais; Waylon Murray
Gary Gold, The Sharks Director of Rugby, said: “This match will provide us with the ideal opportunity to test combinations as we look to conclude our preparations ahead of the start of the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
“We are expecting a highly competitive match against Toulon and are looking forward to the encounter.”
The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 & SHD from 21:50 SA Time.
The Cell C Sharks on Friday announced the appointment of their leadership group for this year’s Super Rugby competition.
With a strong focus on player management and rotation, it was important to select a core leadership group, which consists of four players who will lead the squad during the Super Rugby campaign.
Bismarck du Plessis, who led the Sharks in the 2014 campaign, has been named squad captain. Often described as the best hooker in world rugby, he boasts an impressive 120 Super Rugby caps for the Sharks and has been a standout performer for the team over the years.
Now into his 11th campaign, he brings a wealth of experience at Super Rugby level and a Rugby World Cup winners’ medal (2007) together with 70 caps at Springbok level.
He will be ably supported by flyhalf Patrick Lambie who is a proven match winner and natural leader in his own right. He too has Rugby World Cup experience, being a key member of the 2011 Springbok squad and has accumulated an impressive 40 Test caps since making his debut in 2010, at just 20 years of age. He brings calmness and composure to the team environment and is certainly an asset to the team.
Last year’s Currie Cup captain, Tera Mtembu, who impressed in his first campaign in a leadership role, also forms part of the group. He has displayed a natural flair for the role and is a player who leads by example. His steady rise through the ranks will certainly motivate the younger players in the group to aim for bigger honours.
Completing the quartet is the colossal Frans Steyn, who, at just 27 years of age, is about to embark on his 10th year of professional rugby, a career that has taken him to Durban, France, Japan and back to Durban, through two Rugby World Cups and 53 Test matches for the Springboks.
Like the other three players in the core leadership group, he commands respect from both team-mates and opposition alike.
Commenting on his decision, the Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold said: “The way the modern game is going it is not about individuals but a group of leaders who share ideas and work together as a team in order to achieve the desired results.
“These four players have proven their leadership ability and commitment to the Sharks over the years and they will be able to rally the group and get the best out of their team-mates.”