Cell C Sharks kick off New Zealand tour in Dunedin; Coetzee makes Emirates Lions return for Reds clash; Malherbe earns 100th cap in massive North-South Derby
Round two of Vodacom Super Rugby commences on Friday morning (08h05 SA time) when the Cell C Sharks kick off their four-week Australasian tour with a visit to Dunedin where they take on the Highlanders under the roof of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. All three of the other South African sides play on Saturday.
The feature match of the weekend sees the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls in action in what promises to be a special occasion. This game between the two traditional rivals is the last North-South derby to be played at DHL Newlands. Kick-off is 17h15.
In the early afternoon game in Johannesburg, the Emirates Lions will be out to redeem themselves against the Reds following last weekend’s faltering start in Buenos Aires. This match starts at 15h05. The Jaguares host the Hurricanes from 23h40 in the last fixture.
Cell C Sharks kick off New Zealand leg in Dunedin
Lukhanyo Am, the Cell C Sharks’ Springbok centre and skipper, and Craig Burden (replacement hooker) are both set to earn their 50th caps for the team in Friday’s match against the Highlanders in Dunedin, while Springbok winger Sbu Nkosi will miss the encounter due to injury.
Nkosi is replaced by new-recruit Madosh Tambwe, who will make his debut for the team. The match kicks off at 08h05 (SA time) and will be broadcast live on SS1. Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger, meanwhile, has selected six debutants in his match-day squad.
Coetzee makes Emirates Lions return for Reds clash
Springbok fullback Andries Coetzee makes a welcome return to the Emirates Lions team for their first Vodacom Super Rugby home game against the Reds on Saturday, as a replacement for Tiaan Swanepoel. The match in Johannesburg starts at 15h05.
In the only other change to the starting line-up, Morne van den Berg replaces the injured Andre Warner (ankle) at scrumhalf. Meanwhile, the Reds have made four changes to their starting team. Wallaby utility back James O’Connor switches from inside-centre to flyhalf for only his second start in the Reds’ No 10 jersey, and Hamish Stewart comes off the bench and slots in to the vacant midfield spot.
Malherbe earns 100th cap in massive North-South Derby
Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe will play his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby match for the DHL Stormers in the South African derby against the Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The kick-off for the North-South Derby is at 17h15 on Saturday, as the DHL Stormers look to make it two straight wins at the start of the season, following their 27-0 victory against the Hurricanes last weekend. All the games are live on SS1.
The rest of the Round 2 fixtures are:
Friday, 7 February
10h15: Brumbies v Rebels – GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday, 8 February
08h05: Chiefs v Crusaders – FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
10h15: Waratahs v Blues – McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
23h40: Jaguares v Hurricanes – Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
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SOURCE – South African Rugby Union