Shabangu leads new-look Pumas

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:17
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flank Brian Shabangu will lead a Pumas side featuring some new combinations for their Currie Cup fixture against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday

Due to two games being played within three days of each other the coaching group headed by Brent Janse van Rensburg are experiencing some challenges to select the teams for the two games. This presents opportunities for players that have not had the same amount of game time to stand up and be counted.

Shabangu, who has donned the Pumas jersey 32 times during the last three seasons, leads a team with a number of Currie Cup debutants, including flank Chris Cloete.

Cloete has been named on the bench for the second week running, but had to withdraw from the game against the Sharks due to illness last weekend.

Lock Cameron Lindsay and flank Stefan Willemse, two other new recruits from the Kings, will make their Currie Cup debuts for the Pumas, along with Cloete, Willie Engelbrecht, Kobus Marais and scrumhalf Theo Maree.

Maree, who has been named as Reynier van Rooyen's understudy, is on loan from the Blue Bulls.

Van Rooyen is the senior citizen amongst an inexperienced backline with 71 games under his belt.

Sias Ebersohn, who has been playing at fullback and flyhalf in the National Provincial Challenge, will start at inside centre to relieve the pressure on Kobus Marais.

Loosehead prop De-Jay Terblanche will be playing his 165th game in the Pumas which makes him the second most experienced player ever for the Pumas/South Eastern Transvaal.

Flank Francois Rossouw is still the record holder in 183, followed by Terblanche on 164 and Corné Steenkamp on 159.

Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Jean-Paul Lewis, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Sias Ebersohn, 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Brian Shabangu (captain), 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Jacques Kotze, 2 Mark Pretorius, 1 De-Jay Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Theo Maree, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Jerome Pretorius.

Date: Saturday, August 5
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 13.00 (11.00 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry 
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Kwezi Mqomboti
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans

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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
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Griquas 12 4 0 8 26