Team Release – Free State vs. Cell C Sharks XV

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Free State vs. Cell C Sharks XV

Date : Friday, 23 June 2017
Time : 15h00
Venue Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee Adriaan Jacobs

The Cell C Sharks XV will close out their SuperSport Rugby Challenge pool commitments with a return clash against Free State at Free State Stadium on Friday afternoon (3 pm kick-off).

Following the three points collected in last week’s draw with the table-topping Griquas, the Cell C Sharks XV managed to leapfrog Free State and claim second place on the Central log, but with just two points separating the two teams, coach Paul Anthony’s charges will be left in no doubt as to the importance of this match, with the quarter-finals looming.

Having suffered a 19-21 home loss to Free State in the first round, there will be plenty to play for, and while revenge is not necessarily a good motivator, securing the best possible draw for the knock-out rounds will provide the incentive necessary to put on a commanding performance.

Paul Anthony has the luxury of being able to include a number of senior Cell C Sharks players who have had time off from Super Rugby action, but who will want to get some game time under their belts before competition action returns.  The luxury of these selections could not have come at a better time, especially since his two most senior players, Keegan Daniel and Odwa Ndungane are nursing slight niggles this week, and therefore were not considered for selection.

He has made a number of changes, predominantly in the pack, with Lourens Adriaanse named at tighthead prop in place of Thierry Kounga, while there is an entirely new second row, with Etienne Oosthuizen and Stephan Lewies taking over from Wian Vosloo and Hyron Andrews, both of whom play off the bench.

The loose-forward trio also has a distinctly Super Rugby look to it, with Philip van der Walt, Tera Mtembu, and Dan du Preez replacing Khaya Majola, Jacques Vermeulen, and Keegan Daniel respectively.

There is another senior player amongst the backs, a player with an exceptional pedigree in Springbok Cobus Reinach who takes over from Rowan Gouws at scrumhalf, where he will partner Benhard Janse van Rensburg.

S’bura Sithole shifts from outside center to wing, in place of Ilunga Mukendi, with Kobus van Wyk named to wear the number 13 jersey.

The bench has a good look about it too, with the vastly experienced Michael Claassens one of two backs in a 5:2 split.

Cell C Sharks XV

1.            Juan Schoeman
2.            Stephan Coetzee
3.            Lourens Adriaanse
4.            Etienne Oosthuizen
5.            Stephan Lewies
6.            Philip van der Walt (c)
7.            Tera Mtembu
8.            Daniel du Preez
9.            Cobus Reinach
10.          Benhard Janse van Rensburg
11.          Sbu Nkosi
12.          Andre Esterhuizen
13.          Kobus van Wyk
14.          S’bura Sithole
15.          Garth April

Replacements

16.          Kerron van Vuuren

  1. Gerhard Engelbrecht
  2. Hyron Andrews
    19.          Jacques Vermeulen
    20.          Wian Vosloo
    21.          Michael Claassens
    22.          Marius Louw

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