Currie Cup

Pumas pick teenager at flyhalf for WP clash

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Tiaan Botes (Photo: Facebook)
Tiaan Botes (Photo: Facebook)

The Pumas have picked 19-year-old Tiaan Botes at flyhalf for Friday night's Currie Cup clash against Western Province at Newlands.

Coach Jimmy Stonehouse made five changes to the starting XV that beat Griquas 22-17 in Nelspruit last weekend.

Botes, who turned 19 on Monday, starts at pivot in place of Devon Williams.

The youngster came on as a replacement against Griquas but gets his first run in the starting team this week. He represented the Southern Kings in the PRO14 earlier this year before moving to the Pumas.

He will form a new halfback partnership with Chriswill September, who replaces Ginter Smuts in the No 9 jersey.

In other changes, former Blitzbok Ruwellyn Isbell also gets his first chance of the season at left wing, replacing Etienne Taljaard.

Up front, Darrien Landsberg moves from lock to flank in place of Phumzile Maqondwana, with the fit-again Pieter Jansen van Vuren making his comeback in the second row to partner Le Roux Roets.

Jansen van Vuren also takes the captain's armband from Roets.

At loosehead prop, Morgan Naude makes his comeback in place of Dewald Maritz.

Regarding young gun Botes' inclusion, Stonehouse told Netwerk24: "I can already hear people say he's too young... but it's that old adage of 'when you're good enough then you're old enough'."

Friday's clash at Newlands is scheduled for 19:00.

Teams:

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Tristan Leyds, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes (from): 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Dan du Plessis, 24 Kwenzo Blose, 25 Marcel Theunissen, 26 Sihle Njezula

Pumas

15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Tiaan Botes, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Darrien Landsberg, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ig Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude

Substitutes: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wikus Groenewald, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Ewart Potgieter, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Devon Williams, 22 Japie Kleinhans, 23 Liam Hendricks

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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