The Cell C Sharks open their account of the Currie Cup Premier Division Competition following the qualifying portion with an away game against the Pumas, traveling to Mbombela Stadium for Friday night’s first round clash.

Currie Cup Head Coach Robert du Preez has not tinkered much with the side he worked with as part of the Super Rugby coaching staff and continuity is the name of the game as minimal disruptions, with a few new players to fill in the odd gap, will hopefully ensure that there is no nervous start, but rather a steely determination to play with confidence, passion and excitement.

Following the departure of Paul Jordaan, his replacement at outside centre Lukhanyo Am is one of two new faces in the starting line-up, the other is wing Neil Maritz. The pair have graduated through the age group ranks, but with the inclusion of the pair, the side closely resembles what we have seen in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

This bodes well as far as continuity goes, with a big Super Rugby contingent carrying on where they left off in the Currie Cup competition.

“We’re blessed with having the same pack of forwards basically and that should give us great confidence,” explains Coach Robert du Preez.

“We do have a couple of guys coming into the backline, with the Boks being out, but I am very positive about what’s lying ahead.”

Flyhalf Curwin Bosch is an exciting young player who was given opportunities late in the Super Rugby campaign and stood up to the challenge.

The Cell C Sharks

15. Odwa Ndungane Replacements:
14. Neil Maritz 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle
13. Lukhanyo Am 17. Thomas du Toit
12. Andre Esterhuizen 18. Ruan Botha
11. S’bura Sithole 19. Tera Mtembu
10. Curwin Bosch 20. Stefan Ungerer
9. Michael Claassens 21. Inny Radebe
8. Philip van der Walt 22. Heimar Williams
7. Jean-Luc du Preez
6. Keegan Daniel (Captain)
5. Stephan Lewies
4. Etienne Oosthuizen
3. Lourens Adriaanse
2. Franco Marais
1. Dale Chadwick