Pumas have a new 'leader' in Bloem
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pumas will have a new leader when they start their campaign in the newly-formed Super Rugby Unlocked competition.
Ryan Nell will captain the side from inside centre, when they face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Lock Pieter van Vuren is sidelined with an injury and the captaincy armband goes to Nel.
Nell, 30, moves from outside centre to inside centre in on of six changes to the team that lost 5-33 to the Lions in a pre-season friendly last week.
Wayne van der Bank, who played inside centre last week, will wear the No.13 jersey.
Devon Williams takes over at fullback from Ruwellyn Isbell.
Neil Maritz starts at left wing in place of Etienne Taljaard.
Cameron Lindsay takes over at lock from the injured Janse van Vuren
In the final change former Cheetah Ruan Kramer will start at tighthead prop. Kramer, who came through the Cheetahs youth structures, was at the Sharks, Griffons and the last two years Griquas – before heading to Nelspruit after the lockdown.
The other noteworthy selection is that of lock Le Roux Roets – who had brief stints with the Lions and Bulls, before trying his luck at Racing 92 in France and the Waratahs in Super Rugby.
He was also on loan to the Sharks, but returned to Nelspruit this year.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Wayne van der Bank, 12 Ryan Nell (captain), 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Darrien Landsburg, 20 Jeandre Rudolph, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Ruwellyn Isbell.
Date: Saturday, October 10
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein’
Kick-off: 16.30 (14.30 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby and Ben Crouse
TMO: Stuart Berry