All eyes on Brummer
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pumas have made a number of changes for their first Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the Sharks in Mbombela on Friday.
The most notable change in the side is the return of Super Rugby flyhalf Francois Brummer.
Brummer returns from duty with the Bulls, replacing Marlou van Niekerk, starting flyhalf for the Pumas 60-17 away win against the Griffons last Saturday.
Van Niekerk moves to inside centre to partner No.13 Hennie Skorbinski, who has returned from injury to replace the benched Deon Helberg.
Speedster Marcello Sampson is back on the right wing after recovering from concussion, replacing Tyler Fisher, who drops out of the matchday 22.
The forward pack has also been shuffled, with Frankie Herne (hooker) De Jay Terblanche (tighthead prop) Stephan Greeff and Brian Shabangu (left flank) all on the starting list. Returning utility forward Marnus Schoeman, who was the Pumas' top try scorer in the 2015 Currie Cup with seven tries, is expected to provide some impact coming off the bench.
Mentz said that the changes will give the forward pack some extra mobility against an attacking Sharks team.
"With the new coaching team led by Robert du Preez, we're expecting a change of game plan and a more expansive style of play. They also have a lot of Super Rugby experience, but we've prepared well, had some good training sessions and have a pretty settled team who are up for the challenge," said Mentz.
Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 De Jay Terblanche, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Jacques Kotze, 18 Wiehan Hay, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Devon Williams.
Date: Friday, August 5
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.20 (17.20 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Pro Legoete, Ricus van der Hoven
TMO: Willie Vos