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Eben Etzebeth to captain Sharks in Challenge Cup final

By Josh Raisey
Eben Etzebeth of Hollywoodbets Sharks smiles at a scrum surrounded by team-mates during the EPCR Challenge Cup Semi Final match between Hollywoodbets Sharks and ASM Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham Stoop on May 04, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Patrick Khachfe/Getty Images)

South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth will lead the Sharks in the Challenge Cup final on Friday against Gloucester in place of the injured Lukhanyo Am.

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The Sharks and South Africa centre is out with a shoulder injury, so his two-time World Cup winning teammate will deputise.

Etzebeth will lead a side that only has two changes from the XV that triumphed over ASM Clermont Auvergne, with the Springbok gaining a new second row partner in Gerbrandt Grobler.

Grobler, who started on the bench against Clermont, replaces Emile van Heerden in the pack. In the backline, James Venter replaces Am, with Ethan Hooker moving into the No13 jersey.

Ox Nche starts in an all-Springboks front row in what will be his 50th appearance for the side in international competitions.

Fixture
Challenge Cup
Gloucester
22 - 36
Full-time
Sharks
All Stats and Data

Speaking ahead of the match, the loosehead said: “The mood in the camp is pretty good, everyone is focussed. It’s a big game for us all, everyone is in tune and excited; we just want to give it our all.

“Keeping players calm and everyone focussed on what they need to do and how they can help the team; that’s our biggest task at the moment.

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“This is a serious game, it means a lot to us, it’s something we haven’t done as a union and it’s going to be as big a challenge for us.

“We’re approaching it the same way: the intensity is the same because we could be the first South African team to win a European title.

“It would be an amazing reward if we did it!”

Sharks XV
15 Aphelele Fassi
14 Werner Kok
13 Ethan Hooker
12 Francois Venter
11 Makazole Mapimpi
10 Siya Masuku
9 Grant Williams
8 Phepsi Buthelezi
7 Vincent Tshituka
6 James Venter
5 Gerbrandt Grobler
4 Eben Etzebeth (c)
3 Vincent Koch
2 Bongi Mbonambi
1 Ox Nche

Replacements
16 Fez Mbatha
17 Ntuthuko Mchunu
18 Hanro Jacobs
19 Lappies Labuschagne
20 Dylan Richardson
21 Cameron Wright
22 Curwin Bosch
23 Eduan Keyter

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Comments

1 Comment
B
Bull Shark 31 days ago

That’s a good team and they have a good chance. Will be nice to shush some naysayers claims about the strength of SA teams.

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