Vodacom Super Rugby Round 9 Preview

Picture : Highway Mail

The Cell C Sharks have named an unchanged starting line-up for a third match in a row for Saturday’s important home clash against the Vodacom Bulls, when the three Du Preez brothers flyhalf Robert and loose forward twins Jean-Luc and Dan will make history.

It is the first time in local Vodacom Super Rugby history that three brothers are picked in the same match-23. Dan, who missed out in recent weeks, will start on the bench after recovering from a long-term injury lay-off.

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Another set of brothers will also be in action in Durban on Saturday Vodacom Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman will start for the visitors, while his older brother Juan has been included on the Cell C Sharks’ bench.

Saturday’s encounter in Durban starts at 17h15 and will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

The Durbanites will be buoyed by their recent away win over the Blues in Auckland and their very credible, one-point loss to the Hurricanes in their last tour match in Napier. A lot more is at stake in Saturday’s feature match besides local pride and the league points on offer.

Meanwhile, the Vodacom Bulls have recalled fit-again locks Lood de Jager and RG Snyman to their starting team, with Jason Jenkins moving to the bench. Andre Warner was also declared fit and replaces Embrose Papier as reserve scrumhalf.

With the Emirates Lions and the DHL Stormers both not in action this weekend, it means that the winner of Saturday’s game will be able to make some significant strides on the local conference log and the important race for playoff positions.

As things stand at the moment, the Emirates Lions are firmly in the lead with 25 league points, 11 points more than the second-placed Durbanites (14 points), the DHL Stormers are on 13, while the men from Pretoria are fourth at the moment on nine points. However, the men from Johannesburg and Cape Town have played eight games each, which is one more than the Cell C Sharks and two more than their Gauteng neighbours.

In the only other SA Conference match this weekend, the Jaguares from Argentina tackle the Rebels at 07h15 on Saturday in Melbourne.