The Cell C Sharks depart for the first month’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship action with a 34 man squad to play in four successive matches in Ireland, Scotland and Wales beginning next Saturday.
Head coach Sean Everitt has picked two, and sometimes three, players in each position given the Covid-19 protocols around international travel and proper isolation and quarantine practices, as well as accounting for any injuries that may be picked up within this four match period.
Ruan Pienaar and Tian Meyer have both been included in the squad, having signed agreements with the Cell C Sharks from Toyota Free State, while there are welcome returns from injury for the lock pairing of Ruben van Heerden and Hyron Andrews.
Phepsi Buthelezi continues to lead a settled and experienced squad of players in the absence of Lukhanyo Am who will take over the captaincy on his return from Springbok duty.
“The boys are up for the challenge, we have some experienced players who have played in the Pro16 before and have had a taste of European conditions, and we have coaching staff who have coached at the highest level; we’re all confident that we can do well overseas,” said Everitt.
“We’ve taken a young squad mixed with some older heads with experience and it will be exciting to see what these guys can deliver against opposition that we don’t see too often, nor play against.”
The Cell C Sharks kick off their campaign against, Munster next Saturday and in round two (Saturday 2 October) travel to Scotland to take on Glasgow Warriors before heading to Wales for rounds three and four, against the Ospreys on Friday 8 October before rounding off the month-long tour against Cardiff on 16 October.
“The boys are excited about experiencing a new competition, the URC is a tough tournament that brings in new challenges and different opposition but the guys are up for the challenge after a very good Currie Cup and a good year.”
The Cell C Sharks touring squad: