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.
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.
Arendse will start at fullback, while David Kriel will get an opportunity at outside centre, next to Cornal Hendricks. Richard Kriel will earn his Vodacom URC debut when he lines up on the left wing.
Robert 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 earn his first start for the Vodacom Bulls at tighthead prop, next to Gerhard Steenekamp and the experienced Bismarck du Plessis.
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,” said White.
“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 kicks off at 19h00 and will be televised on SuperSport.
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 David Kriel, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Richard Kriel, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier; 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Sintu Manjezi, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Harold Vorster.
Date: Friday, 3 December
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
SA Time: 19h00
Referee: Jaco Peyper