Dobson expects 'fired up' Mbonambi for Stormers v Sharks 'reunion'

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Bongi Mbonambi (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Bongi Mbonambi (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Stormers head coach John Dobson expected his former star hooker Bongi Mbonambi to be fired up for their clash with the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday.

Mbonambi swapped coasts last year, moving from the Cape to Durban in one of the Sharks' major recruitment coups.

The move not only plugged a gaping hole in the Sharks front row but added the might of a World Cup-winning Springbok hooker and the incumbent starter in Jacques Nienaber's side.

READ | Sharks coach calls on Bok enforcers Kolisi, Mbonambi for Stormers clash

It also crippled a fellow United Rugby Championship (URC) rival, the Stormers, who lost Siya Kolisi (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) and Edwill van der Merwe (Lions) in the same year.

"Bongi is never not fired up," said Dobson.

"We played against him when he was at the Bulls, and (Steven) Kitshoff has obviously played with him in the national team.

"He's not nicknamed Tyson sometimes without reason. We know there will be a lot in that [match up].

"Siya is there and a couple of other guys who've been here as well. To my mind, it's a great local derby, a really exciting one."

The Stormers have lost co-captain Salmaan Moerat for the clash after he sustained medial collateral ligament damage to his knee in their defeat of the Bulls at Loftus last weekend.

It means Kitshoff assumes the armband outright for the clash while new recruit Adre Smith is expected to fill Moerat's gaping void in the second row.

Kick-off in Durban on Saturday is at 17:05.

Teams:

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutions: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Kutha Mchunu, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Tito Bonilla, 23 Jeremy Ward

Stormers

TBA

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