With Springbok RWC stars Makazole Mapimpi (off to Japan) and Sbu Nkosi (injured), as well as exciting prospect Aphelele Fassi (injured) not available, Cell C Sharks coach Sean Everitt has named a bunch of new backs in his squad.
Blitzboks Werner Kok and Muller du Plessis feature amongst the backs with new signing Manie Libbok as well as the experienced Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw and JP Pietersen.
Bosch and Petersen are two of five Springboks in the Cell C Sharks’ squad – the other three are amongst the forwards: Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Everitt also gave a glimpse into the Cell C Sharks’ future, with the inclusion of a host of players who had excelled for the Junior Springboks in recent seasons.
They include the exciting scrumhalf duo of Sanele Nohamba and Jaden Hendrikse, as well as looseforwards Celimpilo Gumede and last yer’s SA U20 captain, Phepsi Buthelezi, to name but a few.
Bosch admitted that he can’t wait to get stuck into rugby action again after such a long break and was also pleased with the quality of players that have joined the Sharks.
“It’s exciting times now, it’s been great to get back into training although the body is still getting used to contact, but we’re looking forward to finally getting back onto the pitch and throwing a rugby ball around,” said Bosch.
“Manie Libbok will slot in very well here with the style we play. The backs he will have around him will compliment his game. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can add.
“And we all know the type of player Werner Kok is. We are a team that pride ourselves in never giving up and going for the full 80-minutes and Werner is the kind of player who never backs off. He will add a lot of value with his work rate and work ethic off the ball.”
Also not considered were Kerron van Vuuren (hooker), James Venter, Henco Venter (both looseforwards) and Madosh Tambwe (wing).
Cell C Sharks squad:
Forwards: Ox Nche, Mzamo Majola, Dylan Richardson, Dan Jooste, Thomas du Toit, John-Hubert Meyer, Ruben van Heerden, JJ van der Mescht, Hyron Andrews, Emile van Heerden, Evan Roos, Adam Mountfort, Celimpilo Gumede, Tera Mtembu, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Phepsi Buthelezi.
Backs: Grant Williams, Sanele Nohamba, Jaden Hendrikse, Curwin Bosch, Jordan Chait, Muller du Plessis, Caleb Dingaan, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Lukhanyo Am, JP Pietersen, Werner Kok, Manie Libbok, Thaakir Abrahams.
Date: Saturday, 26 September 2020
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off time: 16h30
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Morne Ferreira
TMO: Willie Vos
TV: Live on SuperSport Grandstand