Notshe relishing loose forward battle against Kolisi, Vermeulen

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Gold team coach, Deon Davids and Sikhumbuzo Notshe during the virtual team announcement press conference on September 30, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Gold team coach, Deon Davids and Sikhumbuzo Notshe during the virtual team announcement press conference on September 30, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Sikhumbuzo Notshe is relishing the prospect of facing Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha and Duane Vermeulen in the Springbok Showdown.
  • The No 8 starts for the Springbok Gold team against the Green team at Newlands on Saturday.
  • Meanwhile hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who starts for the Green team, says he's looking forward to facing Stormers team-mate Scarra Ntubeni.

Friends will become foes for 80 minutes on Saturday when the Springbok Showdown kicks off at 17:05 at Newlands in Cape Town

Two of the forwards in the Green and Gold teams, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Bongi Mbonambi, admitted they were relishing the opportunity of playing in his special encounter.

Notshe, who will start at No 8 for the Gold team, said they were ready for the challenge of going up against the Springbok Green team loose trio consisting of Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha and Duane Vermeulen.

"It will be tough," Notshe said of the breakdown battle that awaits them.

"We are going up against World Cup-winning loose forwards in Duane and Siya, while Arno is also an experienced campaigner and played for the Springboks before."

Notshe, who won the last of his six Test caps in 2018, will join forces with Nizaam Carr (four caps) and Marco van Staden (three caps), in a dynamic loose trio set on dominating the breakdowns.

"We also have an exciting combination - Nizaam, Marco and myself have played for the Springboks before, and although we don't have the same experience, it will be good to go up against the best, and we will enjoy the challenge," said Notshe.

"In our team we have different styles as loose forwards, and I think Marco and I will complement each other. Marco likes the ground work, and Nizaam and I roam around, so we are looking forward to it."

Notshe, who has shone for the Sharks earlier this season, said he was delighted to be back in the national team setup and relished being part of the showdown - sentiments echoed by Mbonambi.

"This week has been special - it is my first time back in this environment since 2018, so it is nice to see old faces, have former Stormers team-mates just chatting again and to have a few new guys around. I am enjoying myself," said Notshe.

Mbonambi, whose last Test was the Rugby World Cup final in Japan 11 months ago when he was forced to leave the field early due to an injury, was equally excited about the occasion.

"It's really good to be back again, especially in the Springbok set-up," said Mbonambi, whose direct opponent will be his Stormers team-mate, Scarra Ntubeni.

"It is good to see the young guys stepping up, and it is particularly encouraging that there are so many young guys getting picked and to train and be part of this occasion at Springbok level.

"They are getting to see exactly what happens and what it takes to be here, and the kind of meetings Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach) and Coach (Mzwandile) Stick have had with us has showed them to see that it is not just about pitching up at the field.

"It is all about the detail that we go through in the week. It is really good to see how the young guys have adapted in the last few days, their willingness to learn and also the attitude they bring to training."



Springbok Green

15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Junior Pokomela, 22 Embrose Papier, 23 Manie Libbok, 24 Jeremy Ward, 25 Kade Wolhuter

Springbok Gold

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 James Venter, 21 Vincent Tshituka, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Curwin Bosch, 24 Werner Kok, 25 Manuel Rass

- SA Rugby

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