There is all to play for in what is arguably the biggest match so far in 2022 in Tshwane on Saturday when the Bulls host rivals, the Sharks, in a United Rugby Championship (URC) quarter-final at Loftus Versfeld.
In their first season of the URC, the two South African competitors have made history alongside the Stormers – who will be playing in another playoff match against Edinburgh – by reaching the knockout stages of the premier championship, thus making an immediate impact in the cross-hemisphere competition.
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It was a slower-than-expected start to the season for all the SA teams, but the sides finished the round robin stages strongly.
There will be heavy interest in the battle at Loftus with a packed crowd expected to fill the stadium with a Springbok-laden Sharks traveling to Tshwane full of confidence after having already beaten the Bulls twice this season.
Meanwhile, the Stormers will be favourites at home against a strong Leinster team, although the Cape side has suffered a considerable blow after Springbok Damian Willemse had to be withdrawn from the team due to injury.
Here are all the team lists for the playoff round of the URC this weekend:
SATURDAY, JUNE 4
VBulls v Cell C Sharks
- Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 12.45 IRE & UK / 13.45 ITA & SA
- Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 79th league game)
- AR 1: Mike Adamson (SRU) AR 2: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
- TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)
- Live on: SuperSport, Premier Sports & URC TV
Bulls: Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw
Replacements: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Lizo Gqoboka, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, Reinhardt Ludwig; Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Stedman Gans
Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit (CAPT), Le Roux Roets, Reniel Hugo, Siya Kolisi, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi
Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Ruben van Heerden, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain, Ben Tapuai
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
- RDS Arena, Dublin – KO 15.15 IRE & UK / 16.15 ITA & SA
- Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 23rd league game)
- AR 1: Craig Evans (WRU) AR 2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
- TMO: Matteo Lipperini (FIR)
- Live on: RTÉ, Premier Sports, SuperSport & URC TV
Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Ciarán Frawley, Rory O’Loughlin, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, James Ryan (CAPT), Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris
Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Robbie Henshaw
Glasgow Warriors: Ollie Smith, Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson, Rufus McLean, Ross Thompson, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Rob Harley, Richie Gray, Ryan Wilson (CAPT), Gregor Brown, Jack Dempsey
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Oli Kebble, Simon Berghan, Lewis Bean, Kiran McDonald, Thomas Gordon, George Horne, Domingo Miotti
Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby
- DHL Stadium, Cape Town – KO 18.00 IRE & UK / 19.00 ITA & SA
- Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 63rd league game)
- AR 1: Chris Busby (IRFU) AR 2: Adam Jones (WRU)
- TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
- Live on: SuperSport, Premier Sports, TG4 & URC TV
Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Rikus Pretorius, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff (CAPT), JJ Kotze, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos
Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Brok Harris, Neethling Fouche, Adre Smith, Ernst van Rhyn, Nama Xaba, Godlen Masimla, Sacha Mngomezulu
Edinburgh Rugby: Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Henry Pyrgos, Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry, WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (CAPT), Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury
Replacements: Adam McBurney, Harrison Courtney, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Marshall Sykes, Ben Muncaster, Charlie Shiel, Jaco van der Walt, James Lang
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