This match offers the Durbanites the opportunity to get stuck into overseas opposition once more following a period of South African derbies over the last few weeks.
With the Vodacom URC starting to hot up and the resumption of games against international teams, the Cell C Sharks will embrace the challenge to lay a marker in the competition.
The teams will meet at the 5 000 seater Stadio Comunale di Monigo, scene of Benetton’s 35-8 Rainbow Cup victory over the Vodacom Bulls on 19 June last year, and the Cell C Sharks can expect something of a cold welcome – the night-time temperature sees the mercury expected to drop to -2°C, although the daytime is a little more moderate at 14°C.
Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has largely stuck with the same team that defeated the Vodacom Bulls in their last outing for Saturday’s 17h05 clash, making just two changes to the starting line-up.
Ruben van Heerden comes in for Hyron Andrews (concussion) in the second row, opening the door for Le Roux Roets to come into the match 23 where he is named to play off the bench.
The second change sees Bosch starting at flyhalf, with Argentine international Joaquín Díaz Bonilla named amongst the replacements.
Following the sublime form he showed for the Cell C Sharks in their Carling Currie Cup victory over the Sigma Lions, scrumhalf Cameron Wright has been called into the Vodacom URC squad and rewarded with a place on the bench. He replaces Grant Williams, who is serving a suspension and did not tour.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nché. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Werner Kok.