Plumtree announces Sharks squad ahead of EPCR Challenge Cup last 16

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  • Post published:April 6, 2024

The Hollywoodbets Sharks shift their focus away from the Vodacom United Rugby Championship as they now look towards the EPCR Challenge Cup knockouts and a Round of 16 clash against Zebre Parma at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Sunday.

Lukhanyo Am leads a vastly experienced Hollywoodbets Sharks side for this encounter against the visiting Italians hoping to use the confidence gained from their recent winning form in the URC to take them all the way in the EPCR.

Head coach John Plumtree has largely stuck with the team that defeated Edinburgh last Saturday, as he welcomes back Vincent Koch after the Springbok prop was forced to pull out of the last game with a stomach bug. Sadly, Eben Etzebeth sustained a rib injury and isn’t available for the match.

There are returns for Ethan Hooker and Werner Kok to the starting line-up, while Gerbrandt Grobler and Grant Williams both return to the matchday 23.

Plumtree admits that the Hollywoodbets Sharks’ taking a winning feeling into this game following back-to-back URC victories is a real positive for the team.

“That’s a big thing for us, confidence is something you can’t underestimate in sport. We’re working hard, the leaders are keeping everyone grounded and we know what this game means to us.”

This match is not just a knock-out, but the performance offers the opportunity for redemption too.

“We know we’ve let a lot of people down this season and we want to win them back,” the coach adds.

“The only way we can do that is on the field and that’s what we’re trying to do. This is a big game and if we do well, we earn the right to play another one.”

Hollywoodbets Sharks squad in full:

1. Ox Nche
2. Bongi Mbonambi
3. Vincent Koch
4. Corne Rahl
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Vincent Tshituka
8. Phepsi Buthelezi
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Siya Masuku
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Ethan Hooker
13. Lukhanyo Am (c)
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Gerbrandt Grobler
20. Jeandre Labuschagne
21. Grant Williams
22. Curwin Bosch
23. Francois Venter

Photo by Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix