Pumas rugby captain Corné Steenkamp, is back to lead his team in the Absa First Division semi-final against the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon.
Steenkamp missed the bulk of the Currie Cup season after a knee injury and relinquished the captaincy to scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee. The return of Steenkamp is a big bonus to the Pumas, who have a point to prove after failing dismally in their two matches against the Leopards.
Also back in the fold is flyhalf Tiaan Marx after missing the match against the Elephants which sees Rudi Vogt moving back to fullback. Vogt will again be trusted with the goal-kicking responsibilities.
In the first match against the Leopards, Marx missed three sitters in the opening ten minutes which could have given his team a big morale boost. With Vogt moving back to fullback Jiffy Lamprecht is back on the left wing – the story of Lamprecht’s season, playing in about every position in the backline.
Steenkamp’s return also forced a positional switch, with Eduaan van der Walt once again packing down in the second row. Dawie Steyn also returns to the starting XV after a rest on the bench against the Elephants.
Veteran winger Hyron Thysse also returns to the bench after recovering from injury.
Pumas: Rudi Vogt; Gordon Pangetti, Shaun Venter, Jevon Botha, Jiffy Lamprecht; Tiaan Marx, Jacques Coetzee; Quinten Minnaar, Johan van Heerden, Corné Steenkamp (capt), Eduaan van der Walt, Luhan Veldhuizen, Dee-Jay Terblanche, Morné Kruger, Dawie Steyn. Reserves: Sean Johnson, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Martin Sithole, Nicol Mostert, Jaco Parsons, Christiaan Els, Hyron Thysse.