With the South African Vodacom United Rugby Championship teams heading back into action this week, the Cell C Sharks, who are the Vodacom Bulls’ opposition on Friday, will have their tails up after being bolstered by the return of international stars.
The Vodacom Bulls are wary of the daunting task that lies ahead where they will be involved in what is close to a test match against a side with no fewer than nine Springboks and additional other players who have been on international duty recently.
“I said to the players that we get to play all these good sides – we played the South Africa A team this year, and now it seems like we will be playing the Springboks this weekend,” Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, ahead of the SA derby.
“The Cell C Sharks have nine Springboks back, they have a Scottish international, a Samoan international and an Australian international. It does not get much tougher than that. The Cell C Sharks, playing at home, with all those international players will be massive for us. I can tell you; we are very excited that we will get to measure ourselves against what is essentially an international side now again. There’s a bit of a buzz, it’s like a test match for us.”
Despite having had matches against European opposition – Munster Rugby and Scarlets – postponed, the Vodacom Bulls are eager to take on the talented Durban side in a repeat of the previous two Carling Currie Cup finals.
“We have been growing slowly in the past 18 months or so, and we look forward to seeing where we are against a team that has guys like Bongi (Mbonambi), Ox (Nche), Lukhanyo (Am), Siya (Kolisi) and Makazole Mapimpi – guys who have played against England in a re-match of the World Cup final a couple of weeks ago,” said White.
“So, it’s a massive test for us to see where we are – whether we are good enough to handle that sort of pressure going into an away game against a star-studded Cell C Sharks side that also includes a Samoan international (OJ Noa), an Australian international (Ben Tapuai) and a Scottish international (Dylan Richardson).”
The Vodacom Bulls will announce their team for the Vodacom URC clash on Thursday. The match will kick off at 19h00 at Jonsson Kings Park on Friday.