Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold, has welcomed back a number of players to the team named to play the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington in Saturday’s 2nd Super Rugby tour match for the Sharks.
Gold has been able to select his Springbok front row for the 1st time in 6 weeks to bolster the pack upfront, while also returning Francois Steyn and Renaldo Bothma back to the starting line-up. The big, physical players are expected to play a big role on the weekend against the log-leaders.
“The Hurricanes are a team on an absolute high at the moment, their performance against the Crusaders was outstanding and this is probably going to be a big challenge for our players at this moment in time, with our backs against the wall,” explains Gold.
“We’re playing the best team in the competition, it’s going to be an unbelievable challenge, but one that’s going to make us grow as a group.”
Lwazi Mvovo has been moved to fullback, a straight swap with Odwa Ndungane while Lionel Cronje wears the No 10 jersey, partnering Stefan Ungerer who gets his 1st start at scrumhalf.
“From our point of view, we need to concentrate on the things we can do well, we know we have the ability to do well, even though we haven’t done it very often. But we’re a proud bunch of guys and this is an opportunity against the odds to step up to the plate.”
Cell C Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (Captain), 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Kyle Cooper, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Waylon Murray.
Date: Saturday 9 May
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Michael Lash
TMO: Aaron Paterson