The Wildebeest team to take on the Valke in Brakpan on Saturday shows a number of changes to the outing that bravely downed the Lions last week.
Gone are hooker Skipper Badenhorst and right wing Henno Mentz, on tour with the Sharks in New Zealand (although nobody is quite sure why). Deon Carstens has also taken his rightful place in the Super 14 squad. Kees Lensing gets a rare start at loodehead prop in Carstens’ place, while Jody Jenneker will wear the number 2 shirt. Pierre Bouwer is the new reserve hooker, while young Pat Cilliers continues his rehabilitation after knee surgery as he is named as the reserve prop. Big Nik Blignaut and captain Ali Hargreaves continue their partnership in the second row, while young Pampoen van Jaarsveld provides cover from the bench.
In a surprising move, livewire openside flanker Skollie Ndlovu has been dropped, with Justin Downey coming in at 6 to partner Jean Deysel and the ever improving Warren Whitely in the loose trio. Michael Rhodes is on the bench. This move may well backfire, although Downey himself is certainly no slouch and may well adapt well to the fetching role.
Neil de Bruyn replaces Scott Mathie at scrumhalf, while Tiaan Marx, Andries Strauss and Riaan Swanepoel remain in jerseys 10 through 13. Mentz’s place is taken by 22-year-old Sizwe Zondo, while Lwazi Mvovo and Danie Dames continue at left wing and fullback respectively. Reserve flyhalf Andrew Borgen is named in Scott Spedding’s place. Borgen played for the KZN u19 side back in 2003, before a spell in the UK with first Leeds and then later Rotherham.
15 Dames, 14 Zondo, 13 Swanepoel, 12 Strauss, 11 Mvovo, 10 Marx, 9 de Bruin, 8 Whiteley, 7 Deysel, 6 Downey, 5 Blignaut, 4 Hargreaves (capt), 3 Harris, 2 Jenneker, 1 Lensing
16 Bouwer, 17 Cilliers, 18 van Jaarsveld, 19 Rhodes, 20 Mathie, 21 Borgen, 22 Vulindlu