Pumas beware. Charles Louw and Steve Atherton have named the Wildebeest team to contest the opening fixture in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition, kicking of at 14h30 on Saturday in Durban.
The tight five is an impressive one, comprising Namibian international Kees Lensing, bad boy Jody Jenneker and Currie Cup regular Robbie Harris in the front row. Sharks star Steven Sykes returns from injury to partner former SA u19 captain Alistair Hargreaves in the second row. Hargreaves will captain the side.
The back row is pretty big, with Justin Downey (1.93m and 102kg), Nikolai Blignaut (1.94m and 104kg) and Jean Deysel (1.90m and 112kg) the sort of combination that Jake White would gladly have picked in his heyday. One wonders whether favouring bulk over pace to this extent won’t prove suicidal under the new laws. Only time will tell.
Scott Spedding gets another opportunity to show his wares at flyhalf and he’ll have highly-rated Falcons import Charl Mcleod as his scrummy. Andries Strauss and Dumi Matyeshana are the centers, while the back three contains pace aplenty; Henno Mentz will hope his hands don’t let him down this week, while newcomers Frank Wagenstroom and the young Danie Dames from Empangeni will be keen to show their wares.
Look out for young Jacques Potgieter on the bench, a loose forward who styles his looks (as well as his play) on the iconic French “Caveman”, Sebastian Chabal.
15. Danie Dames, 14. Frank Wagenstroom, 13. Dumisani Matyeshana, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Henno Mentz, 10. Scott Spedding, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Jean Deysel, 7. Nikolai Blignaut, 6. Justin Downey, 5. Steven Sykes, 4. Alistair Hargreaves (Capt), 3. Robbie Harris, 2. Jody Jenneker, 1. Kees Lensing
16. Subusiso Dube, 17. Pierre Bouwer, 18. Schalk van Jaarsveld, 19. Jacques Potgieter, 20. Neil de Bruin, 21. Lwazi Mvovo, 22. Riaan SwanepoelTweet