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Newly recruited players, Cobus Wiese, Sintu Manjezi, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Boeta Chamberlain and Alulutho Tshakweni have all been handed their official club debuts when the Vodacom Bulls begin their 2024 Carling Currie Cup campaign against Cape side, the DHL Western Province.

The two foes meet on Sunday 07 July with kick-off set for 15h00 at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town.

Head coach, Phiwe Nomlomo says the side has been planning for months and the start of the campaign is exciting for all.

“We have prepared hard for this competition, and we all understand what is expected from every one of us. We are just excited to get going,”

“We have been bolstered by the arrival of the recruits, who have come on and worked hard to understand our systems and fit in what we are looking for. I imagine the energy is going to be even better when we get the guys who are currently injured, returning to play,”

Nomlomo adds: “It is a good place to be and we look forward to having South Africans turn out to support the oldest going rugby competition.”

The herd will see a forward row comprising Dylan Smith at loose-head prop, Jope van Zyl – who returns to play after a long injury layoff, starts at hooker and Francois Klopper is at tight-head prop. Behind the trio are Wiese and Manjezi at lock with Corné Beets and Jannes Kirsten at flank with skipper, Nizaam Carr overseeing matters from eight.

Bernard van der Linde at scrumhalf, pairs up with Jaco van der Walt at flyhalf and the halfback duo will have a backline assembly of Devon Williams at left wing and Sergeal Petersen on the right-hand side of the park. Boeta Chamberlain starts at full-back with Chris Barend Smit and Aphiwe Dyantyi pairing up at inside and outside centre, respectively.

Juann Else, Alulutho Tshakweni, Khutha Mchunu, Merwe Olivier, Celimpilo Gumede, Zak Burger, Chris Smith and Cornal Hendricks form the 5-3 split impact squad.

VODACOM BULLS vs DHL WESTERN PROVINCE STARTING XV: 1. Dylan Smith, 2. Joe van Zyl, 3. Francois Klopper, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Sintu Manjezi, 6. Corné Beets, 7. Jannes Kirsten, 8. Nizaam Carr (c), 9. Bernard van der Linde, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 11. Devon Williams, 12. Chris Barend Smit, 13. Aphiwe Dyantyi, 14. Sergeal Petersen, 15. Boeta Chamberlain

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Juann Else, 17. Alulutho Tshakweni, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Merwe Olivier, 20. Celimpilo Gumede, 21. Zak Burger, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Cornal Hendricks

MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Phiwe Nomlomo – Head Coach, Werner Kruger – Forwards Coach, Jean Tiedt – Defence Coach, Kennedy Tsimba – Backline Coach, Justin Kruger – Technical Analyst, Dr. Moshe Magethi – Team Doctor, Darryn Berry and Pieter du Plessis – Physiotherapists, Bernado Botha – Strength & Conditioning, Yusuf Vahed – Sport Scientist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Andries Kabinde – Logistics Manager

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