Friday, 24th November 2023

The Sharks Media Release
VODACOM UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

Hollywoodbets Sharks vs. Dragons

Date: Saturday, 25th November 2023
Time: 19h05
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant Refs: Christopher Allison, Stephen Geldenhuys
TMO: Eoghan Cross

 

The injection of Rugby World Cup winning Springboks back into the Hollywoodbets Sharks fold is a major boost for the side ahead of tomorrow’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with the Dragons RFC at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

Head coach John Plumtree has welcomed back lock Eben Etzebeth, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, wing Makazole Mapimpi into the starting line-up alongside Lukhanyo Am who takes on the captaincy duties after making his return last week, while their national team-mates Ox Nche and Grant Williams will add firepower off the bench.

Fez Mbatha returns to action, taking over from Dylan Richardson at hooker after the Kearsney College old boy had to have surgery to his thumb, putting him out of action for approximately eight weeks.

Talking about what these World Cup winners bring to the team, Hollywoodbets Sharks attack coach Dave Williams explains that, “We’ve been celebrating the achievements of the Hollywoodbets Sharks players returning from the Rugby World Cup with them and they’ve brought a huge amount of energy with them which has been great for us as a collective.

“Having these players back and the confidence they bring, has been contagious and the rest of the group are all excited for Saturday’s game.”

Although the results haven’t gone the way of the Hollywoodbets Sharks this campaign, there’s no reason to overthink things. But everyone involved does understand the need to turn things around.

“We have a long-term plan, but the immediate focus is around getting excited about finishing opportunities that we’re creating and maximising those rewards.

“We’ve spoken as a group around evolving our game and building pressure with the ball and through our transition game. We’re seeking rewards and the focus is on getting those conversions on the back of good rugby.

“Working for a franchise like this, you embrace the pressure of expectation. In terms of this being a must-win, we go out every game to deliver a performance that wins rugby games, and that’s no different this week.”

Hollywoodbets Sharks
1. Ntuthuko Mchunu
2. Fez Mbatha
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Phepsi Buthelezi
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Francois Venter
13. Lukhanyo Am (c)
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements
16. Daniel Jooste
17. Ox Nche
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Corne Rahl
20. Jeandre Labuschagne
21. Grant Williams
22. Boeta Chamberlain
23. Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Players not available for selection due to injury or suspension:

  •    Bongi Mbonambi
    •    Dylan Richardson (Thumb surgery)
    •    Eduan Keyter
    •    Francois Hougaard
    •    George Cronje (suspension)
    •    Gerbrandt Grobler
    •    Hyron Andrews (suspension)
    •    Kerron van Vuuren
    •    Muller du Plessis
    •    Nevaldo Fleurs
    •    Reniel Hugo
    •    Vincent Koch
    •    Vincent Tshituka

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•    Hashtags       #FeartheFin #VURC #SHAvsDRA

ENDS.

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