After a lacklustre performance against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend, Fourie said not every player would be assured of making the trip to the Mbombela Stadium. True to his word, the Griquas coach shuffled the starting line up as well as the bench.
“We produced a very poor performance against the Cheetahs last weekend,” Fourie said.
“Many of the players did not perform the way we wanted them to and there were a couple of spots in the side up for grabs.”
Former Lions players Ruan Lerm and Doppies la Grange, and flyhalf Dean Grant and centre Niel Marais have all been included in the Kimberley side’s squad.
Flanker Lerm, who replaced RJ Liebenberg, and ex-Ikey’s player Grant both earned starts, while La Grange and Marais would be used as impact players from the bench.
Hooker Martin Bezuidenhout and lock Jonathan Adendorf were included up front. Adendorf replaced the injured Boela Serfontein, while Bezuidenhout took the place of veteran Ryno Barnes, who was relegated to the replacement bench.
“Ruan will make his Currie Cup debut for us. We believe we need to be very physical with our forwards if we want to beat the Pumas and, in that regard, Ruan, Jonathan Adendorf and Martin Bezuidenhout will add a lot of fire power.”
Fourie also made a couple of changes to the backs, dropping winger Rocco Jansen after his poor performance, and moving Francois Brummer from flyhalf to fullback in place of the injured Nico Scheepers.
“We know what Brummer is capable of and we are certain that he will do well at fullback. This is a opportunity for Dean Grant to prove his worth. We know he did well in the Varsity Cup and hopefully he will also come to the party at senior level.
“Doppies is vastly experienced and knows how to handle pressure situations. We are under immense pressure now to perform and get our first victory of the competition. In situations like these you need all the experience you can get.”
Griquas: Francois Brummer, Ederies Arendse, Jonathan Francke, Wayne Stevens (captain), PJ Vermeulen, Dean Grant, Tian Meyer, Carel Greeff, Ruan Lerm, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Jonathan Adendorf, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Martin Bezuidenhout, Steph Roberts. Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Maks van Dyk, Hugo Kloppers, RJ Liebenberg, Abrie Griesel, Doppies la Grange, Niel Marais.