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Sharks name 7 World Cup-winning Springboks in XV to face Clermont

By Josh Raisey
Eben Etzebeth of the Hollywoodbets Sharks tackling Pierre Schoeman of Edinburgh during the EPCR Challenge Cup, Quarter Final match between Cell C Sharks and Edinburgh at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on April 13, 2024 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag Sports/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Sharks head coach John Plumtree has named seven World Cup-winning South Africa internationals in his starting XV to face ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday at the Twickenham Stoop.

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The front row combination of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch have all lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, as has Eben Etzebeth, scrum-half Grant Williams, winger Makazole Mapimpi and captain Lukhanyo Am.

On top of that contingent, there are a further two Springboks in the squad, winger Aphelele Fassi and replacement loosehead Ntuthuko Mchunu, as well as South Africa veteran Werner Kok.

“In games like this, it’s about getting the best prep and we’ve done a great deal to put ourselves in this position and once you’re in the changeroom, it’s about having confidence in the prep you’ve done,” Am said.

“This game is a big one for us and everyone is hyped and excited to be playing in a semi against a quality side like Clermont.”

Fixture
Challenge Cup
Sharks
32 - 31
Full-time
Clermont
All Stats and Data

“We back our set-piece against a good Clermont set-piece and they do mix it up between forwards and backs, which is the same with us. So it’s definitely going to be an exciting game.

“With all the prep we’ve done, I think we’re ready.”

After a poor start to the season, the Sharks have now won five of their last six matches, but will face a Clermont side who are also in a rich vein of form having won three of their last four.

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Sharks XV
15. Aphelele Fassi, 14. Werner Kok, 13. Lukhanyo Am (c), 12. Ethan Hooker, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Siya Masuku, 9. Grant Williams, 1. Ox Nche, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Emile van Heerden, 6. James Venter, 7. Vincent Tshituka, 8. Phepsi Buthelezi
Replacements: 16. Fez Mbatha, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Hanro Jacobs, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Lappies Labuschagne, 21. Cameron Wright, 22. Boeta Chamberlain, 23. Francois Venter

Clermont XV
15. Alex Newsome, 14. Bautista Delguy, 13. Julien Heriteau, 12. George Moala, 11. Joris Jurand, 10. Anthony Belleau, 9. Baptiste Jauneau, 1. Giorgi Beria, 2. Etienne Fourcade, 3. Rabah Slimani, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 6. Marcos Kremer, 7. Peceli Yato, 8. Fritz Lee (c)
Replacements: 16. Yohan Beheregaray, 17. Giorgi Dzmanashvili, 18. Cristian Ojovan, 19. Thibault Lanen, 20. Killian Tixeront, 21. Pita-Gus Sowakula, 22. Theo Giral, 23. Léon Darricarrere

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