The first four weeks of their Currie Cup campaign had been characterised by an emphasis on youth and the former Baby Bok assistant had shown a reluctance to make use of the four recruits from the Kings that were signed to bolster the ranks.
Waylon Murray has been the only member of the quartet to feature reasonably prominently but the irrepressible Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht is poised to become the second relative veteran to make a position his own after he was included on the blindside for Saturday’s meeting with the Cheetahs at Loftus.
To be fair to Pienaar though, the 27-year-old demolisher did stake his claim last weekend against the Sharks with a robust performance as replacement. “He did really well during the second half in Durban,” noted Pienaar. “I thought he attacked the gainline quite well and it felt appropriate to give him a starting berth.”
Keeping in tune with the drive towards a bit more wisdom in the ranks, Pienaar included Francois Venter at the expense of Ulrich Beyers despite only returning this week from a shoulder injury.
Marcel van der Merwe also comes in at loosehead.