GWK Griquas have bought judiciously during the off-season and are ready to unveil a new-look three-quarter line when they take on the Bulls at Loftus on Friday night, in the first Currie Cup game of the season.
With coach Pote Human’s strong links to the Pretoria union, it’s perhaps unsurprising that he’s, for the most part, opted to bring in players that he’s worked with before, but such is the light-blue tint to the side that will be in turquoise on Friday that you’d fancy a fair few of them might need to be clearly shown the way to the visitors’ change room, lest they find themselves in the wrong one.
Hooker Ryno Barnes leads a side that includes recent Cheetahs Super Rugby players in Justin Downey (flank) and Willie le Roux (fullback). Flyhalf Francois Brummer was a Bulls player up until last year, before being summarily discarded as Morne Steyn’s understudy in favour of his opposite number, Louis Fouche. You can rest assured he’ll have a point to prove, as will centres Stefan Watermeyer and JP Nel, both of who have played for the Bulls many times in years gone by.
Left wing Rocco Jansen was another cast into the rugby wilderness after doing his bit for the Bulls at junior level, while the man on the other wing, Luzuko Vulindlu, has travelled a not dissimilar path. The DHS pupil was touted as “the next big thing” to hit Sharks rugby when he made his Super 14 debut back in 2009. Injury and lack of form, though, saw his star wane and he left Durban last year for a short stint with Auch in France, before being picked up by Griquas.
The side also welcomes back lock Martin Muller, who’s been out of action for an extended period with an injury.
GWK GRIQUAS: 15 Willie le Roux; 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 JP Nel, 12 Stephan Watermeyer, 11 Rocco Jansen; 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee; 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Jonathan Adendorff, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Rayno Barnes (capt), 1 Stef Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Jaco Nepgen, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Wilmaure Louw.