Kimberley – Plagued by injuries to key players, Griquas coach Pote Human was forced to reshuffle his starting line up for the Currie Cup encounter against Western Province at Newlands on Friday evening.
Utility forward Carel Greeff has been ruled out for the next couple of weeks after he broke his hand in Griquas' home game against the Sharks last weekend in Kimberley.
Human has to also make do without fullback PJ Vermeulen and lock Victor Kruger, who both broke their ankles against the Sharks.
Other players on the growing injury list include locks Ligtoring Landman, Jonathan Adendorf, Hilton Lobberts, and prop Janro van Niekerk.
“We just can't get ahead with regards to injuries. Whenever one player returns, another gets injured,” Human said.
“Carel had a little discomfort from his hand after the Sharks game and we thought it only to be bruised. But when he experienced real pain on Monday we sent him for X-rays, which confirmed he broke a small bone in his hand. It is another huge blow for us.”
Greeff has been replaced by another player who has returned from injury, eighth man Leon Karemaker. Jaco Nepgen, who has proved his fitness after a shoulder injury, was included in the run-on side in the lock position.
“We have lost a lot of players to injury, but I am glad that both Leon and Jaco are available. They will bring some much needed experience to the team and at this stage we need everything we can get.”
Youngster Gouws Prinsloo was selected in place of the injured Vermeulen at fullback, while centre Jean Stemmet comes in for JP Nel, who is struggling with a knee injury.
Scrumhalf Marnus Schoeman was relegated to the bench, with Jacques Coetzee starting against the Cape Town-based outfit.
Human said the outing would be a tough ask, in light of all the recent predicaments they had had to face.
“It's never easy going to Newlands and we know that we are the underdogs for a victory. We have to be realistic and look at the coming promotion/relegation matches. If we can finish above the Blue Bulls on the points log, we will be safe from that.”
The Griquas side: Gouws Prinsloo, Nico Scheepers, Jean Stemmet, Howard Mnisi, Rocco Jansen, Francois Brummer, Jacques Coetzee, Leon Karemaker, Burger Schoeman, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Rory Arnold, Nick Schonert, Ryno Barnes (captain), Steph Roberts. Replacements: Matt Dobson, Brummer Badenhorst, Patrick O'Brien, RJ Liebenberg, Marnus Hugo, Du Randt Gerber, Richard Lawson. – Sapa