The Carling Champions Team that will face Italy ‘A’ at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is made up of Carling Currie Cup players from around the country, as voted for by their fans.

Stonehouse, whose Airlink Pumas won the Carling Currie Cup for the first time in their history on Saturday when they beat Windhoek Draught Griquas in the final in Kimberley, will be in charge along with his provincial management team.

Included in the side are two Springboks in Cornal Hendricks (centre) and Embrose Papier (scrumhalf), while players such as Victor Sekekete (lock), Nama Xaba (loose forward), Clayton Blommetjies (fullback) and Robert Ebersohn (centre) will provide valuable experience as they prepare to face the Italians.

Hendricks, Ebersohn, Blommetjies and Angelo Davids are the four players in the squad who have represented the Blitzboks.

Furthermore, three players are back from last year’s Carling Champions Team, which beat Kenya at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. They are DHL WP’s Xaba, and the Vodacom Bulls duo of Keagan Johannes (scrumhalf) and Simphiwe Matanzima (prop).

Keagan Johannes in action for the Carling Champions Team last year.

Keagan Johannes in action for the Carling Champions Team last year.

Consumers can use the following voting mechanics to vote for the captain: via USSD on *120*660* unique code# or via Facebook messenger.

The match against Italia Emergenti is scheduled to kick off at 19h45 on Saturday, 2 July at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Beyond the on-field action of the match, attendees can also look forward to being entertained with live performances by NaakMusiq, Heavy K, Marc Anthony Kock, Deon and Michelle Mattheus and Thuba Myeki.

Tickets are on sale from TicketPro at just R49 – CLICK HERE.

The match build-up will start from 19h30 on SuperSport Variety 3. Fans can also enjoy the spectacle and listen to the match live on the following SABC radio stations: Ukhozi FM, Umhlobo Wenene, Lesedi FM, Thobela FM, Motsweding FM, Radio 2000 and RSG.

Carling Champions Team: 15 Clayton Blommetjies (Toyota Cheetahs), 14 Daniel Kasende (Toyota Cheetahs), 13 David Brits (Toyota Cheetahs), 12 Cornal Hendricks (Vodacom Bulls), 11 Angelo Davids (DHL WP), 10 Siya Masuku (Toyota Cheetahs), 9 Keagan Johannes (Vodacom Bulls), 8 Mihlali Mosi (Toyota Cheetahs), 7 Sibusiso Sangweni (Sigma Lions), 6 Nama Xaba (DHL WP), 5 Janko Swanepoel (Vodacom Bulls), 4 Victor Sekekete (Toyota Cheetahs), 3 Robert Hunt (Vodacom Bulls), 2 Marnus van der Merwe (Toyota Cheetahs), 1 Simphiwe Matanzima (Vodacom Bulls).

Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste (Cell C Sharks), 17 Dewald Maritz (Airlink Pumas), 18 Kwenzo Blose (DHL WP), 19 Shane Kirkwood (Airlink Pumas), 20 Willie Engelbrecht (Airlink Pumas), 21 Embrose Papier (Vodacom Bulls), 22 Tristan Leyds (DHL WP), 23 Devon Williams (Airlink Pumas).

Additional players: Eduan Swart (Airlink Pumas), Keke Morabe (DHL WP), Andries Fouche (Airlink Pumas), Sanele Nohamba (Sigma Lions), Theo Boshoff (Windhoek Draught Griquas), Robert Ebersohn (Toyota Cheetahs), Alwayno Visagie (Airlink Pumas).