URC Previes – Ospreys Know Hollywoodbets Sharks Will Be Looking To Bounce Back

 

On Friday evening at 21:35, the Twickenham Stoop will become the 53rd ground and the first in England to host a United Rugby Championship match when Ospreys host the Hollywoodbets Sharks.

Ospreys broke a three-game losing run in the competition with their 34-31 victory over Zebre Parma in Swansea last weekend, but they are without a win in their last 10 encounters with South African opponents since they beat the Southern Kings in Gqeberha in 2019.

However, the London venue won’t be altogether strange for the team from Durban as they have faced the Crusaders there in Vodacom Super Rugby in 2011, as well as Harlequins in last year’s Investec Champions Cup.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks have lost two of their last three matches against Welsh regions.

Hollywoodbets Sharks head coach John Plumtree has made four changes to last week’s side, handing Dylan Richardson his first start of the season, swapping the hooker jersey with Kerron van Vuuren, who he comes on to replace against Leinster.

Coenie Oosthuizen returns to the side after starting in week one, taking over from Hanro Jacobs at tighthead prop, while Sikhumbuzo Notshe comes in at eighthman, with Phepsi Buthelezi shifting to the flank in place of Vincent Tshituka.

There is just one change in the backline where Aphiwe Dyantyi gets his first start in place of Marnus Potgieter on the wing.

Ospreys Head Coach, Toby Booth, said: “The Sharks are a different-looking team to what they have been in recent seasons. They’re prepared to attack a lot more, from different areas of the pitch, whilst still bringing that physicality you expect from a South African side.

“They’ve had a tough start to their season, having to travel away to Munster and Leinster, but we’re under no illusions that they’ll be looking to bounce back in this one. We’re looking forward to what is set to be a big fixture in London.”

Teams:

Hollywoodbets Sharks: 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 2 Dylan Richardson, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 4 Corne’ Rahl, 5 Emile van Heerden, 6 James Venter, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 9 Cameron Wright, 10 Curwin Bosch, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 13 Francois Venter (c), 14 Werner Kok, 15 Aphelele Fassi. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 George Cronje, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Murray Koster.

Ospreys: 1. Garyn Phillips, 2. Ethan Lewis, 3. Tom Botha, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. James Fender, 6. James Ratti, 7. Harri Deaves, 8. Morgan Morris, 9. Reuben Morgan-Williams, 10. Owen Williams, 11. Toby Fricker, 12. Owen Watkin, 13. Keiran Williams, 14. Luke Morgan, 15. Jack Walsh. Replacements: 16. Lewis Lloyd, 17. Rhys Henry, 18. Ben Warren, 19. Lewis Jones, 20. Morgan Morse, 21. Luke Davies, 22. Max Nagy, 23. Luke Scully.