Cell C Sharks Change Two For Heineken Cup Battle Against Munster


The big day approaches as the Cell C Sharks host Munster in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 knock-outs at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday at 13:30 (SA Time) in a historic first for the Durban team.

Cell C Sharks made two changes to their pack where Eben Etzebeth will have a new second-row partner in the form of Gerbrandt Grobler with Emile van Heerden dropping down to the bench and the other change is in the back row where Sikhumbuzo Notshe takes over the No.8 jersey from Phendulani Buthelezi.

The Cell C Sharks’ first foray into the elite European competition has paid off immediate dividends and the honour of hosting a knock-out is just reward for the team’s outstanding performances in the pool stages.

Munster, currently fifth on the Vodacom United Rugby Championship log – to underline their status as a side to give healthy respect to – come to Durban for their first ever visit to Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

The Irish side won two of their four pool games in the Heineken Champions Cup, going down twice to Toulouse, but earned enough points to finish in sixth place on the Pool B log, while the Cell C Sharks, with their three wins, finished Pool A in third spot which afforded them the honour of a home fixture in the knock-outs.

“We weren’t good in our last game, but we’ve worked hard to rectify that.” Captain Siya Kolisi said in the build-up to the game. “This is a play-off match, everything in the past no longer matters, but I think we will be much better, we don’t want a loss to define us.

“And Munster’s loss last week also doesn’t define them.”

With Sharksfest taking place on Saturday and warm weather predicted, everything points to a day of excitement both on and off the field.

“The European Cup has a vibe different to everything else, and Munster will experience that, as well as the heat of Durban.”

Sharks: 15. Henry Chamberlain, 14. Werner Kok, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7. Vincent Tshituka, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1. Retshegofaditswe Nché. Replacements: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Carlü Sadie, 19. Emile van Heerden, 20. Phendulani Buthelezi, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Ben Tapuai, 23. Thaakir Abrahams.