Cell C Sharks Name Powerful Line-up To Face Union Bordeaux Bègles


The Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell has picked a powerful side to take on Union Bordeaux Bègles in Saturday’s return leg Heineken Champions Cup clash at Hollywoodbets Kings Park at 17h15 (SA Time).

With a heavy workload and playing in two concurrent tournaments, player rotation and welfare become primary concerns. Giving players a break last week and providing opportunities in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship has kept the squad fresh and hungry.

There are minimal changes from the Springbok-laden side that defeated the Vodacom Bulls in the last home match, with Vincent Tshituka coming in for Henco Venter on the flank in the only change to the pack.

Amongst the backs, Jaden Hendrikse replaces Grant Williams at scrumhalf and Wallaby international Ben Tapuai returns at inside centre for Rohan Janse van Rensburg who will feature off the bench.

Bordeaux have not enjoyed the kind of success they would have hoped for and will come to Durban under pressure to perform. Equally, the pressure isn’t off for the Cell C Sharks side despite having won both of their games in their first season of Heineken Cup rugby. But it’s a good form of pressure.

“We’re putting a big emphasis on the Heineken Cup, but in the same breath, we’re also under a bit of pressure in the VURC with the resting period coming up for some of the Boks. We really need to perform in the VURC too and there is equal emphasis on performing in both competitions,” Cell C Sharks prop Thomas du Toit admitted in the build-up to the match.

“But we aren’t looking too far ahead, the biggest and most important match is the next one and we’re treating it like that. Winning at home is important and winning this match at home is going to be vitally important in this competition and we firmly believe if we get points this weekend and more points next weekend [against Harlequins] then we will be sitting pretty in the competition.

“We will look to play for the full 80 minutes, it’s something we strive towards and something we got close to against the Bulls when we started and ended well,” “It’s something we’ve spoken about, tried to improve and it’s a big target for most teams: to get that perfect 80 minute performance.”

Cell C Sharks: 1. Ox Nche, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Thomas du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 7. Vincent Tshituka, 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 10. Curwin Bosch, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 12. Ben Tapuai, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 14. Marnus Potgieter, 15. Boeta Chamberlain. Replacements: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Carlü Sadie, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Phepsi Buthelezi, 21. Cameron Wright, 22. Lionel Cronje, 23. Rohan Janse van Rensburg.