Ex-Munster second row Gerbrandt Grobler lines out for the Sharks against his old side at Thomond Park on Saturday night
TWO former Munster players have been included in the Cell S Sharks squad for Saturday night's opening United Rugby Championship fixture at Thomond Park, 7.35pm.
Ex-Munster second row Gerbrandt Grobler and prop Thomas Du Toit are both named in the South African side's startingline-up for the game.
Grobler joined Munster in the summer of 2017, but stayed just one season following media scrutiny over a previous two-year doping suspension.
Twenty six-year-old prop Thomas Du Toit played six times for Munster during the 2016-2017 season, arriving on a short-term contract as injury cover.
The Sharks line-up for the first competitive game against a northern hemisphere team will also include former Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.
Pienaar, on loan from Toyota Cheetahs, marks his return to the Cell C Sharks after an 11 year absence from the team where his senior career began.
Sharks Head coach Sean Everitt has stuck with the same pack of forwards that lined up against the Vodacom Bulls in the Carling Currie Cup Final.
The only other change to the starting XV sees Boeta Chamberlain named at flyhalf after the departure of Lionel Cronje following his short-term stint with the Durban side during the course of the Currie Cup.
Ex-Munster prop Thomas du Toit is expecting a huge onslaught from the Irish province, but warns that his side won’t be holding back either, with both sides looking to impose themselves physically.
“They’re a physical side, all Irish sides are, but that doesn’t that South African sides are not as physical, it’s definitely going to be a tough game of rugby with physicality at the front and centre. We as South Africans don’t want to disappoint as far as physicality goes.”
With their Bulls connection via head coach Johann van Graan, du Toit admits that there are going to be similarities between Munster and the local Pretoria team but explains their well-roundedness makes them a very dangerous opponent.
“Munster have a good kicking game and will look to play in the right areas of the field, but when they need to put the ball through phases, they can do that. So the big challenge for us is going to be stopping their momentum throughout the game.”
Cell C Sharks: Curwin Bosch, Yaw Penxe, Werner Kok, Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar; Khwezi Mona, Kerron van Vuuren, Thomas du Toit, Le Roux Roets, Gerbrandt Grobler, Dylan Richardson, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi (captain) Replacements: Fez Mbatha, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Mpilo Gumede, Ruben van Heerden, Hyron Andrews, Sanele Nohamba, Jeremy Ward.
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