Loftus to welcome back fans as Carling Champions Team takes on Kenya
Share this article:
Cape Town – South African fans will finally return to live action on Saturday – and they will get to do that while witnessing a historic encounter.
In a first for local rugby, fans were asked to select the team for the Champions Match against Kenya, and the players with the most votes from supporters across South Africa were named for the clash at Loftus Versfeld (kick-off 1pm).
The South African side will consist of some of the most exciting provincial players, with the Bulls – who have dominated the domestic scene since rugby resumed last year – having the most representatives.
Due to a number of withdrawals, two additions were made to the group that was announced last week – with Bulls front-rowers Mhleli Dlamini and Joe van Zyl added to the replacements bench.
The team have been training under Bulls director of rugby Jake White and his coaching staff. They assembled in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Kenya arrived on Wednesday afternoon and immediately resumed their training schedule after settling into their Pretoria base.
A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the match.
Edgar Rathbone, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, said they are excited to welcome fans back to Loftus.
“After an extended period of playing matches with no crowds at Loftus Versfeld, we are thrilled to be able to accommodate spectators again to watch this unique match,” said Rathbone.
“We look forward to welcoming our spectators, the Carling Champions Team and Kenya to Loftus.
“Having Government allowing us to accommodate 2000 people is a step in the right direction, and we are confident that in the near future we will see this number increase and we will soon be able to see a full Loftus Versfeld again.”
Carling Champions Team: 15 Sibongile Novuka, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Chris Smit, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Keagan Johannes, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 PJ Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mhleli Dlamini, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Stedman Gans
Non-playing reserves: 24 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 25 Chad Solomon, 26 Leolin Zas, 27 Ginter Smuts, 28 Tian Meyer, 29 Ashlon Davids, 30 Marius Louw
The Kenya Simbas tour squad:
Forwards: Ian Njenga, Joshua Chisanga, Andrew Siminyu, Eugene Sifuna, Griffin Musila, Boniface Ochieng, Ephraim Oduor, Patrick Ouko, Joseph Odero, Malcolm Onsando, Thomas Okeyo, George Nyambua, Dan Sikuta (captain), Brian Juma, Fidel Oloo, Steve Sakari, Elkeans Musonye.
Backs: Barry Robinson, Brian Wahinya, Jone Kubu, Brian Tanga, Derrick Ashiundu, John Okoth, Vincent Onyala, Samuel Asati, Peter Kilonzo, Darwin Mukidza (vice-captain), Jacob Ojee, Isaac Njoroge, Andrew Matoka.