Bothma boost for Pumas
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pumas have been boosted by the arrival of their No.8 Renaldo Bothma, just in time for what promises to be a stern Currie Cup test against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Bothma has been on international duty with Namibia at the CAR Africa Cup, captaining the Wewitschias to a 60-22 victory over Zimbabwe in the Final of the competition on August 6.
Having been on loan to the Sharks and Bulls during this year's Super Rugby campaign, Bothma has returned to the Pumas until the end of October. He will then join the Blue Bulls on a full-time contract ahead of next year's Super Rugby competition.
He takes over the starting No.8 jersey from Carel Greeff, who drops to the bench.
"It's great to have Renaldo back as he brings a lot of experience and physicality to the side, which is what we're going to need against a strong Lions team," said Pumas head coach MJ Mentz.
Bothma is one of five changes to the Pumas forward pack which ran out against the Sharks in the 10-33 loss at Mbombela Stadium last Friday.
Flank Lambert Groenewald is out for two to three weeks with a calf muscle tear. His position will be filled by Nardus van der Walt, who has been cleared to play after suffering a knee ligament injury.
Lock Stephan Greeff also drops out of the squad due to a shoulder injury, and will be replaced by Wiehan Hay.
Tighthead prop De Jay Terblanche moves to the bench to make way for Louis Albertse, while Francois Du Toit will start at hooker ahead of Frankie Herne.
"Our forwards were under pressure against the Sharks so we needed to change a few things. These guys have been knocking on the door a while now and it's a big opportunity for them to show what they've got," said Mentz.
The Pumas backline remains unchanged.
"We're not sure what team the Lions are going to field, but we know they have a very good squad which will be full of confidence after their success in Super Rugby," he said.
"We're going to have to man up more at set pieces and play at a very high level."
Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jean-Paul Lewis, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers (captain), 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Louis Albertse, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Herne Frank, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Carel Greef, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Devon Williams.
Date: Saturday, August 13
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Sindile Ngcese, Vusi Msibi
TMO: Johan Greeff