Pumas fish in the Shark Tank
Pumas coach MJ Mentz confirmed that former South African Under-20 prop Marne Coetzee and SA Sevens player Deon Helberg will join the Nelspruit-based outfit for the rest of the season.
Coetzee, a powerful tighthead prop that played SA Schools in 2011 and for the Junior Springboks in 2-13, is on loan from the Sharks.
The arrival of the 22-year-old former Glenwood scholar will offset the absence of powerhouse Vincent Koch, who is currently on duty with the Springboks.
Described as a "a strong and powerful scrummager" who is also very good with ball in hand, he is expected to fit right into the Pumas' exciting style of play.
Mentz revealed that Helberg, who played for the SA Sevens team in 2009 and has since played more than 50 first class matches for the Blue Bulls and Golden Lions (2010 to 2015), was a free agent and didn't have a contract.
"We took him on board as a utility back," Mentz said.
"We are very excited about them and want to see what they can bring."
The Pumas, who won the Vodacom Cup competition back in May, spend the best part of the last two months building up towards their second season back in the top tier of the Currie Cup competition.
"We had good preparation during the past six weeks and we are glad the first game is here," he said ahead of their season opener – against the Sharks in Nelspruit on Friday.
"We had two warm-up games and confidence is high.
"We still have a few minor things to put in place ahead of Friday, but the hard work has been done."