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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Springboks in Bulls, Sharks clash to boost rugby, says Jake White

Bulls boss excited about World Cup winners clashing on the domestic front.


There will be a galactico feel in the air when the Bulls take on the Sharks in a round seven United Rugby Championship clash on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld (3pm).

With plenty of Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks on show, the rugby fraternity will be brought to a standstill as the stars will look to dazzle under the hot Pretoria sun.

The Bulls will have four World Cup winners turning out for them, namely Willie le Roux, Marco van Staden, Canan Moodie, and Kurt-Lee Arendse, while the Sharks will unleash Eben Etzebeth, Jaden Hendrikse, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Ox Nche and Grant Williams.

Interesting battles

The game will deliver battles that are set to keep spectators on the edge of their seats and glued to their TV screens. The scrum battle between Bulls prop Wilco Louw and Nche is one to watch, while at flyhalf Johan Goosen will go up against Curwin Bosch.

The back trios will look to bring their X-factor to the game; the Sharks have an exciting outside back trio of Mapimpi, Aphelele Fassi and Aphiwe Dyantyi, while the Bulls will have Moodie, Arendse and Le Roux fronting up for them.

Boks show

Bulls coach Jake White believes that the players that will be on display in the derby at Loftus will help to boost stadium attendance in the domestic rugby scene.

“In 2007, we had 45,000 people here for a Super Rugby semi-final or derby game, those are the days I long for; a derby game where the best players in South Africa are playing against each other,” White told the media.

“We are going to have four World Cup winners running out, the Sharks will be playing their World Cup winners that are available to them. I’m hoping it’s going to be a great boost for the supporters,” he said.

Tough game

White is expecting his side to have a tough time against a rejuvenated Sharks team thanks to their Boks.

“It’s going to be a hell of a game,” White said.

“We are not taking anything for granted even though they have had a reasonably poor start. It doesn’t surprise me to be fair … a lot of those guys are top-class players. I was looking at their whole backline, it’s Springboks. It was a question of time before they got it right,” he said.

His counterpart, John Plumtree, said his team will have to be at their best if they are to walk away with a win on Saturday.

“The Bulls are a good side, they have won most of their games this year.

“There’s not too many sides that win there, we have to get a lot of things right if we want to win on the weekend,” Plumtree said this week.

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