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Newly appointed Currie Cup coach, Edgar Marutlulle has picked a strong side that will duel the defending champions of the Currie Cup, the Airlink Pumas. The clash between these two titans is set for Sunday 13 March 2023 as the 85th edition of South Africa’s premier rugby division, the 2023 Currie Cup competition swings into full motion.

Kick off for the clash is set for 13h00pm.

Marutlulle’s herd will have Gerhard Steenekamp, Jan Hendrik Wessels and Francois Kloppers lining up as the front row combination, supported by Jacques Du Plessis and Ruan Vermaak in the second row. Phumzile Magondwana (blindside flank), Reinhardt Ludwig (eightman) and Mihlali Mosi (openside flank) will lace up their boots to line up in the back row.

Scrum-half, Bernard van der Linde will pair with captain of the side for the match, Morne Steyn (fly-half) as the half-back combination. David Kriel (inside) Lionel Mapoe (outside) will lineup as the centre pairing with Sbu Nkosi on the left wing and Sibongile Novuka at right wing whilst Wandisile Simelane anchors the side at full back.

Speaking about his squad selection and the opponents that await, Marutlulle remarked: “There are a number of things we need to keep cognisance of whenever we are selecting a team. Making sure that we stay aligned to the objectives of the franchise, our Vodacom URC plans and Heineken Champions Cup plans as well as what we want to achieve out of this Currie Cup campaign,”

“There is an English expression that says when two bulls meet, only the grass suffers and so we are really looking forward to a tough challenge against the current Currie Cup champions. We are seething at the mouth to have a good opportunity and a good outing against a strong Pumas side come Sunday,”

“Jimmy’s teams are always well-conditioned and ready for battle. They play an abrasive style of rugby and they are well coached, so it matters not whom they have lined up for them but rather that they are always ready for a good outing and that sets us up for a great match on Sunday,”

“We know it will be a tough battle and you see that in our squad selection, an indication that we are not taking this lightly and we are not underestimating them in any way. We look forward to taking it to them.”

1. Gerhard Steenekamp, 2. Jan Hendrik Wessels, 3. Francois Kloppers, 4. Jacques Du Plessis, 5. Ruan Vermaak, 6. Phumzile Magondwana, 7. Reinhardt Ludwig, 8. Mihlali Mosi, 9. Bernard van der Linde, 10. Morne Steyn (c), 11. Sbu Nkosi, 12. David Kriel, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 14. Sibongile Novuka, 15. Wandisile Simelane

16. Lizo Gqoboka, 17. Joe van Zyl, 18. Mornay Smith, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. Cameron Hanekom, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Cornal Hendricks

MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach, Sean Everitt – Defence & Breakdown, Hugo van As – Backline, Gert Smal – Forwards, Andre Volsteedt – Strength & Conditioning, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Dr. Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist, Kyle Meyer – Physiotherapist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Simon Dyidi – Logistics Manager

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