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Vodacom United Rugby 2023 | Hollywoodbets Sharks vs. Connacht

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Date: Saturday, 18th November 2023
Time: 17h00
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Craig Evans
Assistant Refs: Morne Ferreira, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Sean Brickell

Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am has been selected for Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against Connacht at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in the team’s first home game of the season.

Am is the only player amongst the Springboks who has been released to return to action for the Hollywoodbets Sharks as the Durban side face their third Irish opponent in five weeks.

“Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch both have knee injuries,” head coach John Plumtree confirmed.

“Vincent will be back after three months, Bongi will be out longer, it could be the whole season.  The rest of the Boks are good to go and looking forward to it, but I have left them alone during this enforced rest period. It was really important that they didn’t get a phone call from me, but next week they’ll be hearing from me and we’ll get them all back and see where they are individually.”

Casting his eye to Saturday’s opposition, Plumtree explained of Connacht that, “They’re another Irish side that is pretty experienced, they have a lot of URC caps amongst the forwards, so it’s going to be a great battle for our forward pack.  They play dangerously, like all the Irish teams they’re very unpredictable, we will have to break them down. Defensively, it is going to be tough.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge for us, they’re a pretty consistent side, a real threat. We’re going to have to play really well and I’m hoping our energy for this first game back home is high, and that we get a good crowd that cheers us on.”

Hollywoodbets Sharks
1. Ntuthuko Mchunu
2. Dylan Richardson
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Corne Rahl
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Phepsi Buthelezi
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Cameron Wright
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi
12. Francois Venter (c)
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements
16. Daniel Jooste
17. Dian Bleuler
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Jeandre Labuschagne
20. Tinotenda Mavesere
21. Zee Mkhabela
22. Boeta Chamberlain
23. Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Players not available for selection due to injury or suspension:

•    Bongi Mbonambi 
•    Eduan Keyter
•    Francois Hougaard 
•    George Cronje
•    Gerbrandt Grobler
•    Hyron Andrews
•    Kerron van Vuuren 
•    Le Roux Roets 
•    Muller du Plessis 
•    Nevaldo Fleurs 
•    Reniel Hugo 
•    Vincent Koch 
•    Vincent Tshituka 

Rugby, 2023, Vodacom United Rugby Championship, HollywoodbetsSharks

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