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VIDEO: 'A big issue for Pumas' - Jimmy Stonehouse's plea for help

REACTION: Pumas head coach Jimmy Stonehouse is hoping his team will be included in an international competition and attract bigger investors in the near future.

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The defending Currie Cup champions started their 2023 campaign with an outstanding 63-15 win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.

The team from Nelspruit dominated all areas of the game and they scored a whopping nine tries in the 80 minutes.

After the match, Stonehouse used his team’s victory to send a clear message to rugby bosses and potential investors.

“Except from the motivation [from winning the Currie Cup and Sunday’s result], we hope there is a big sponsor out there that will come aboard,” said Stonehouse.

“But, we are happy with the guys that are helping us at the moment. Just bringing the community in Mbombela together has been good and there is belief in the team.

“They believe they can win because every one of them has aspirations to go to a big union.

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“In the meeting on Sunday morning, I said they can beat the Bulls here [in Pretoria] and show the other unions that you can play against these guys.

“As a union, we got our sponsors and hopefully there will be guys coming on board and taking note of what we can do.

“We will always lose people if we don’t get an international competition where we can present ourselves. That is the biggest issue we have.”

The story continues below…

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A tough pre-season

Stonehouse said his players had to dig deep in the pre-season as they didn’t have the United Rugby Championship or other European competitions to help them get ready for the Currie Cup.

“We lost a few players, but we also brought some in,” said Stonehouse

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“The challenge was to get those players up to the standard with the rest.

“The other teams have also been involved in the URC, so we had to get that intensity right in our training.

“The pre-season was really tough, but it bore some fruit.”

@rugby365com

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