Daniel Du Preez of the Cell C Sharks during the Currie Cup, Semi Final match between Cell C Sharks and Xerox Golden Lions at Jonsson Kings Park in Durban, South Africa. They are hoping to be victorious again this weekend in the final. Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency. ( ANA )

Durban - The time for dress-rehearsals is over as the 2018 Currie Cup Final between the Cell C Sharks and Western Province at DHL Newlands in Cape Town beckons, for Saturday’s season finale.

It’s been an intriguing season, with Western Province hosting a final thanks to their unbeaten run in the competition. The Cell C Sharks, having finished second, means the final produces a fitting end between the two best-performing sides in the tournament.

Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has made just two changes to the team that defeated the Lions last week, Tyler Paul shifts into Jacques Vermeulen’s position on the side of the scum, allowing an opening for Jean-Luc du Preez to gain his first start for the Cell C Sharks in this year’s competition.

“It’s the business end of the season, but fortunately we’re in the final again this year and hopefully we can bring the cup home,” the big flank, twin brother of eighthman Daniel, admits.

Having only recently returned from injury, he’s played off the bench in the last couple of games, but after being side-lined for three and a half months, he explains that: “Playing off the bench has been good for me, obviously coming back from a long-term injury, I was gradually eased into action and it’s great to be back!”

The loss to Western Province in the pool stages provided timely lessons which du Preez explains can only be in his team’s favour.

“We can take a lot out of that game, as we can from last week’s game against the Lions. In both matches we didn’t play for a full 80 minutes, we got a bit complacent. We’re focussing on the full 80, or the full 90, if that’s what it takes.”

“The focus is on us right now, not on Western Province, although we know it’s going to be a huge clash. They have a massive pack, we have a big pack too, so it’s the old cliché again: it will all be won upfront. It will be huge. If all eight and the forwards off the bench all put up our hands, it will be good.”

In the other change, Aphelele Fassi replaces Lwazi Mvovo, who was concussed in last week’s match.

The Cell C Sharks

Juan Schoeman
Akker van der Merwe
Thomas du Toit
Gideon Koegelenberg
Hyron Andrews
Tyler Paul
Jean-Luc du Preez
Daniel du Preez
Louis Schreuder (C)
Robert du Preez
Aphelele Fassi
Marius Louw
Jeremy Ward
Sbu Nkosi
Curwin Bosch

Replacements

Chiliboy Ralepelle
Mzamo Majola
Coenie Oosthuizen
Jacques Vermeulen
Luke Stringer
Cameron Wright
Kobus van Wyk
Leolin Zas

The Mercury