Injuries to two key players, Ryan Nell and Le Roux Roets, have forced Stonehouse’s hand. Nell (centre) captained the Phakisa Pumas last weekend and Roets (lock) gained some valuable experience on loan to the Cell C Sharks earlier in the season.
The only players who will start again this week are Devon Williams (fullback), Wayne van der Bank (centre), Neil Maritz (left wing), Eddie Fouche (flyhalf), Ginter Smuts (scrumhalf), Willie Engelbrecht (flank), Ruan Kramer and Morgan Naude (both props).
With Nell out of action – probably for the rest of the season after he injured his knee early last weekend against the Toyota Cheetahs – Pieter Janse van Vuren (lock) will lead the Lowvelders this weekend, ironically against a team he captained earlier in his career.
Janse van Vuren wasn’t available last weekend and takes over from Cameron Lindsay, while Darrien Landsburg has been selected in Roets’ place.
Another experienced player who played for Tafel Lager Griquas earlier in his career, is Simon Westraadt, who has been promoted from the bench and will start at hooker.
Jeandré Rudolph, back in Nelspruit after his stint with the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, will start at No 8, with Engelbrecht moving to the side of the scrum where he will be joined by Francois Kleinhans.
Nell’s injured also necessitated a few changes to the backline, with Van der Bank moving to inside centre and Erich Cronje starting in the No 13 jersey for his debut after joining the Phakisa Pumas from the Southern Kings recently. Etienne Taljaard takes over from Luther Obi at right wing.
Phakisa Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Etienne Taljaard, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude. Replacements: 16 HP van Schoor, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Dewald Maritz.
Match information – Tafel Lager Griquas v Phakisa Pumas
Date: Saturday, 17 October 2020
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Griffin Colby, Ben Crouse
Television Match Official: Cwengile Jadezweni
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby