Exciting fullback Tiger Bax has been named in the University of Cape Town (UCT) starting line-up for Monday’s Varsity Cup opener against Stellenbosch at Groote Schuur.
Sport 24 reports that the 2009 Varsity Cup kicks-off with two double headers, involving all eight teams, taking place in Cape Town and Potchefstroom, with the UCT v Maties match – a repeat of last year’s final – attracting plenty of attention.
Ex-Matie Bax, who has been training with the Stormers this season, is one of six newcomers in the UCT starting XV; joining Dane Johnson (wing), Michael Nel (centre), Maxwell Stoffels (flyhalf), Nick Fenton-Wells (flank) and tighthead prop Shane Meier as Varsity Cup ‘newbies’ in this Ikeys side.
On the bench, former Matie Therlow Pietersen will wear the No 22 shirt.
JJ Gagiano will once again captain the Ikeys, with head coach John Dobson saying about his team: “It’s a vastly different team from last year’s final and there’s some pretty exciting new guys we’ve picked in the starting line-up. The new guys, in particular, to look out for are Tiger Bax and Dane Johnson in the backline.”
Dobson and assistant coach Robbie Fleck have been working hard during December and January to prepare their side for their tournament-opener and the Ikeys mentor is looking forward to Monday’s clash and the start of the 2009 Varsity Cup.
“It’s been quite a build-up already to the 2009 tournament and we’re looking forward to getting out there and playing on Monday,” said Dobson.
“Yes, it happens to be a repeat of last year’s final, but we’re simply looking at it as our first game of a new season and, hopefully, another step in the direction in this new era for UCT rugby,” added the UCT coach.
“More importantly; it’s a great occasion for us to pay homage to Monte Taljaard our star flank who was killed last year. His death puts things like simple log points into perspective.”
UCT: 15 Tiger Bax, 14 Dane Johnson, 13 Michael Nel, 12 Matt Rosslee, 11 Marvin Christians, 10 Maxwell Stoffels, 9 Stu Commins, 8 JJ Gagiano (captain), 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Don Armand, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Dylan Rogers.
Replacements: 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dane Galley, 19 Kuselo Moyake, 20 Michael Morris, 21 Kyle Wickens, 22 Therlow Pietersen.
Meanwhile, Ex-Ikey Tigers hooker JP Koster will come face-to-face with his former team-mates when Stellenbosch University takes on the University of Cape Town (UCT) in Varsity Cup action on Monday, February 2.
Koster, older brother of new Stormers ace Nick, made the move to Maties this year after starring for the Ikeys in last year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
Koster Senior, along with former Pukke centre Paul Bosch and former SK Walmers flyhalf Adnaan Osman, are among the new recruits who will make their debut for Maties in the Varsity Cup this year – starting with Monday’s clash.
Flanker Wesley Wilkens will lead his side into battle against the Ikeys, forming a potent loose trio with WP Currie Cup player Conraad Britz (No.6 flank) and eighthman Morné Hanekom.
Of course, Monday’s clash is a repeat of the dramatic 2008 final at Coetzenburg, when Maties scored a last-minute try to win 16-10 and, in the process, claim the inaugural Varsity Cup title.
Maties: 15 Hayden Groepes, 14 Wilhelm Looch, 13 Dabeon Draghoender, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Llewellyn Winkler, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Morné Hanekom, 7 Wesley Wilkens (captain), 6 Conraad Britz, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Marinus Pretorius, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 JP Koster, 1 Johan Roets.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Andrew Crusauz, 18 Erich Loubscher, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Kosie Eksteen, 21 Jean Stemmet, 22 Adnaan Osman.
Fixtures for Monday, 2 February at Groote Schuur:
University of Fort Hare v UWC, 12.45pm
Shimlas v NMMU, 2.45pm
UCT v Maties, 4.45pm