CAPE TOWN – The Cell C Sharks will become the first-ever South African Super Rugby side to play in Hong Kong when they take on French side Racing 92.
The Natixis Rugby Cup will take place at the Aberdeen Sports Ground on Hong Kong Island on Saturday, 3 February 2018.
Racing 92, which feature New Zealand’s Dan Carter, is within striking distance of securing another title after winning the French championship in 2016.
Robbie McRobbie, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union is excited about the event. “The Hong Kong Rugby Union is delighted to once again host the Natixis Rugby Cup in 2018.
“We are particularly excited to be welcoming the first-ever South African Super Rugby side to play in Hong Kong, the Cell C Sharks in February. They will join the likes of the Highlanders, the Chiefs, the British & Irish Lions, the Home Nations, France, the All Blacks and Wallabies among the ranks of international sides that have delighted rugby fans in Hong Kong over the decades,” added McRobbie.
The Hong Kong tie will present an important pre-season opportunity for the Cell C Sharks to fine-tune their squad for the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign. The Sharks have reached the Super Rugby final on four occasions (1996, 2001, 2007 and 2012) and the semi-final on four further occasions, with the most recent coming in 2014.
Robert Du Preez, Sharks Head Coach, said: “We are delighted to participate in the Natixis Rugby Cup 2018. Racing 92 is an impressive team with quality players. A match against them will be the ideal test that we require at the start of the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament, in terms of preparation and the fine-tuning of our game plan.”
“Through the Hong Kong Sevens, we have seen how popular the game is in that part of the world, and look forward to playing in front of a great crowd and making new memories,” Du Preez added.
IOL Sport staff