Tighthead prop, Robert Hunt, will earn his first starting berth for the Vodacom Bulls when they take on a strong Cell C Sharks team in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash at Jonsson Kings Park on Friday night.
Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, announced an exciting 23-man squad that will face a Cell C Sharks team that is loaded with international players in the South African derby, which will be a repeat of the previous two editions of the domestic Carling Currie Cup final.
Hunt, who made his debut and played off the bench on the Vodacom Bulls’ four-week tour of Europe in the opening rounds of the Vodacom URC, will buckle down alongside Gerhard Steenekamp at loosehead prop, with the experienced Bismarck du Plessis starting at hooker.
A few positional switches in the backline will make for an exciting battle against what could potentially be an almost all-Springbok backline for the home side.
Kurt-Lee Arendse will start in the No15 jersey while David Kriel will get an opportunity at outside centre, alongside Cornal Hendricks.
Richard Kriel will earn his Vodacom URC debut when he lines up on the left wing.
The Vodacom Bulls expect a tough encounter in Durban against a dangerous Cell C Sharks outfit.
“This is such a big week. It’s not only a local derby, but the game that we have played in the Carling Currie Cup final twice now,” White said.
“They’ve got all these international players, that says a lot for their squad. At home with that kind of team, there is a little bit of a buzz now. It’s like a test match for us, and we are looking forward to it.
“We are looking forward to seeing where we are. We will see Marcell Coetzee getting a crack to play against Siya (Kolisi), you get Bismarck du Plessis and Grobbies (Johan Grobbelaar) playing against Bongi (Mbonambi), and that list goes on.”
The match will kick off at 19h00 and it will be televised on SuperSport.
The Vodacom Bulls to take on the Cell C Sharks is (15-9; 1-8):
Starting XV: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Madosh Tambwe, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Richard Kriel, Morné Steyn, Embrose Papier; Gerhard Steenekamp, Bismarck du Plessis, Robert Hunt, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.
Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima, Lizo Gqoboka, Jacques du Plessis, Sintu Manjezi, Zak Burger, Chris Smith, Harold Vorster.