Johannesburg – Griquas coach Pote Human rung the changes for his side's Currie Cup clash against the Golden Lions Saturday at GWK Park in Kimberley.
The Northern Cape side has been cut down by injuries, especially at lock. Hilton Lobberts broke his arm against the Free State Cheetahs last weekend and became the fifth casualty in the key position for the Peacock Blues.
In the absence of the Ligtoring Landman, Jaco Nepgen, Jonathan Adendorf and now Lobberts, Human has decided to start the game against the Lions with Griquas newest additions, Patrick O'Brien and Victor Kruger, as his lock pairing.
With Australian lock Rory Arnold still awaiting the verdict of his disciplinary hearing for biting Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke, Human has decided not to consider him for the Lions game.
O'Brien arrived in Kimberley last week, while Kruger joined up with his new side from the Leopards earlier this week. Both slotted in nicely into the structures and the coach was happy to give them the go ahead for Saturday.
“Both of them are available for the rest of the Currie Cup,” said Human.
“People don't understand what a huge blow Hilton Lobberts injury is to us.
“We're not even half way yet and we've already used up all our depth in that position. Luckily both Patrick and Victor are hungry for game time.” Among the loose forwards Human welcomes back flanker Marnus Schoeman, who will undoubtedly add another dimension to the side at the breakdown area. With regular eighth man Leon Karemaker out with a groin injury, Schoeman will partner with Carel Greeff and Burger Schoeman to form the loose trio.
“We gave Leon a chance to prove that he can play, but he did not pass the fitness test. Now we welcome back Marnus Schoeman, who will definitely be out to make his presence felt at the rucks and mauls,” the coach said.
Human has also reshuffled the backs and replacement bench with Jean Stemmet comes in at centre for the veteran JP Nel. Human has also decided to give his wing and regular place kicker Nico Scheepers a rest and brought in Richard Lawson.
Nel can make an impact from the replacement bench though, while another new addition, Dalton Davis, adds depth in the loose forward position.
The Griquas side: PJ Vermeulen, Richard Lawson, Jean Stemmet, Howard Mnisi, Rocco Jansen, Francois Brummer, Marnus Hugo, Carel Greeff, Burger Schoeman, Marnus Schoeman, Victor Kruger, Patrick O'Brien, Nick Schonert, Ryno Barnes (captain), Steph Roberts. Replacements: Matt Dobson, Brummer Badenhorst, Dalton Davis, RJ Liebenberg, Jacques Coetzee, Du Randt Gerber, JP Nel. – Sapa