Pumas bring out their big guns for Lion cubs
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions, much like the Bulls did last month, might regret giving the bulk of their youngsters a run on Friday.
The record will show that the Bulls – who sent the bulk of their under-21 players to Nelspruit – were taught a lesson, as a motivated Pumas team smashed them 44-14.
It will be a similar-looking Pumas outfit that will head to Ellis Park on Friday to take on the Lions team loaded with ‘cubs’ in the first round of South Africa’s Preparations Series.
The big difference is at flyhalf, where star playmaker Eddie Fouché returns after having recovered from the hip injury he suffered in the Round Three Unlocked match back in October.
Fouché was in sublime form before the injury, with his tactical appreciation keeping the Nelspruit-based outfit in the driving seat. He was also the competition’s leading scorer – with a 100 percent strike rate – before being sidelined.
His inclusion in the No.10 jersey means the Pumas are able to move another dangerous outside back, Devon Williams, back to fullback.
No doubt between the two of them they will test the Lions’ defensive structures.
The Pumas have a new scrumhalf in Giovan Snyman, who put his hand up in the pre-season build-up.
The midfield looks equally impressive with Alwayno Visagie and Wayne van der Bank as the centres.
Another area where the Pumas could cause havoc is among the loose forwards – fiery Willie Engelbrecht, Eward Potgieter and Daniel Maartens starting.
Lock Pieter van Vuuren will captain the team, with burly Le Roux Roets to make an impact off the bench.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Ettiene Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouché, 9 Giovan Snyman, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Eward Potgieter, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter van Vuuren (captain), 4 Brandon Valentine, 3 Ig Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naudé.
Replacements: 16 Abraham le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Kwanda Dimaza, 21 Ginter Smuts, 22 Ali Mgjima, 23 Tapiwa Mafura.
Date: Friday, February 26
Venue: Ellis Park. Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby, Ashleigh Murray
TMO: Stuart Berry