Pumas make key changes for Lions clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse made seven changes to his matchday squad for their Currie Cup fixture against the Lions in Nelspruit.
The Lowvelders’ coach made three changes to the starting team and four on the bench as they look to create an upset in the closing rounds of the pool stages.
Two of the changes in the starting XV were amongst the backs, where Ali Mgijima replaces Wayne van der Bank at inside centre, and Ginter Smuts takes over from Chriswill September in a rotational switch at scrumhalf, which sees the latter being named among the replacements.
The only change in the forward pack was in the second row, where Darrien Landsberg replaces the injured Le Roux Roets.
On the bench, Eduan Swart (prop) – a former Blue Bulls Under-21 player – is in line to make his debut for the Pumas if he takes the field after being named in place of Wikus Groenewald.
The other changes see Francois Kleinhans (flank) come in for Ewart Potgieter and Alwayno Visagie (centre) taking over from Morne Joubert (wing) alongside September.
Pumas: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Devon Williams, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsberg, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Eduan Swart, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Tiaan Botes, 22 Alwayno Visagie, 23 Wayne van der Bank.
Date: Saturday, January 2
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Paul Mente, Morne Ferreira
TMO: Johan Greeff