|Date||Friday, 17 August 2018|
|Venue||Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban|
|Assistant Referees||Vusi Msibi, Blake Beattie|
|Television Match Official||Simon McDowell|
In a historic first, the Cell C Sharks will be playing a rugby match at Moses Mabhida Stadium, when we host French side Union Bordeaux Bègles in the inaugural Durban Challenge match on Friday evening at 19h00.
This is not just a game, but marks a festival of rugby this weekend in the province, together with Saturday afternoon’s opening match of the Rugby Championship when the Springboks host Argentina at JONSSON KINGS PARK.
Making up the trifecta is an opportunity to catch future Cell C Sharks players in action when the unbeaten Under 19 side host the Golden Lions in the earlier game (4.30pm) on Friday.
For the Cell C Sharks, the match against the visiting Union Bordeaux Bègles side represents an opportunity for game-time ahead of the upcoming Currie Cup competition. Head coach Robert du Preez will also use this match to test previously untested combinations.
Hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle will lead a youthful side that still contains a number of Vodacom Super Rugby players who will lend experience, guidance and leadership to the team.
Curwin Bosch was not considered for selection due to carrying a slight niggle.
A new face amongst the team is that of Luke Stringer, the Western Province flank, who joins us for the Currie Cup campaign.
Warm-up matches of this nature promise to be both exciting and competitive. The visitors will be keen for a good run in their pre-season, while the Cell C Sharks players on the fringes will relish the opportunity to prove themselves at this level.
The established players won’t want to give up their positions without a fight either and will give it a good go. The coaching staff will be looking carefully at the players with an eye on the Currie Cup which kicks off for the Cell C Sharks on Saturday 25 August when we host the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Cell C Sharks
Chiliboy Ralepelle (c)
Daniel du Preez
Robert du Preez
Kobus van Wyk
Kerron van Vuuren
Akker van der Merwe