Bok-laden Sharks to face Lions
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has named a powerful line-up in his team’s first United Rugby Championship clash of the year for their derby against the Lions on Saturday.
Despite missing a handful of Springboks and given that the Currie Cup has also dipped into The Sharks player pool, Everitt has still been able to select a very strong side for the match at Ellis Park.
Lukhanyo Am leads the side and he is joined by a Test-laden backline, with all the familiar faces amongst a bruising pack.
Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi explains where the team is in a mental and preparation space and points out that the learnings they have taken on-board will stand them in good stead as the competition now resumes after the tournament broke for the festive season holidays.
“It’s been a tough two weeks after the break and our focus has been on reflecting on phase one of the URC which was a difficult challenge playing overseas.
“The learnings taken from that into this phase of the URC has been good for us and we’re looking forward to getting out there and rectifying our mistakes and building from there.”
He adds that the vibe is positive and the players are all excited to get stuck into the tournament.
“The mood in the camp is relaxed, everyone is eager to get out there and play.
“There’s a lot of energy at training, the boys want to put in a good effort every session, even though it’s scorching out there.
“But everyone is happy that there are fixtures and that we’re able to play again.”
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Tito Bonilla, 23 Jeremy Ward
Date: Saturday, January 22
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge & Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni
The Vodacom United Rugby Championship is back in South Africa 🔥 Here is your Cell C Sharks team to take on the Emirates Lions this Saturday!
— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) January 20, 2022