Jimmy Stonehouse celebrates (Gallo)
Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse will take charge of the Champions Team against a touring Italy A side at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The 30-man squad will assemble in Gqeberha on Monday in preparation for the Carling Champions Match.
The team is made up of Currie Cup players from around the country, as voted for by fans.
Stonehouse, whose Pumas side won the Currie Cup for the first time when the beat Griquas 26-19 in Kimberley at the weekend, will be in charge along with his provincial management team.
Interestingly, there’s no player from either the Pumas or Griquas in the starting XV, although the Pumas boast several of the replacements.
Included in the side are two Springboks in Cornal Hendricks (centre) and Embrose Papier (scrumhalf), while the likes of Victor Sekekete (lock), Nama Xaba (loose forward), Clayton Blommetjies (fullback) and Robert Ebersohn (centre) will provide valuable experience.
Hendricks, Ebersohn, Blommetjies and Angelo Davids are the four players in the squad who have represented the Blitzboks.
Furthermore, three players are back from last year’s Champions Team, which beat Kenya at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. They are WP’s Xaba, and the Bulls duo of Keagan Johannes (scrumhalf) and Simphiwe Matanzima (prop).
The match against Italia Emergenti is scheduled to for 19:45 on Saturday.
Carling Champions Team:
15 Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs), 14 Daniel Kasende (Cheetahs), 13 David Brits (Cheetahs), 12 Cornal Hendricks (Bulls), 11 Angelo Davids (WP), 10 Siya Masuku (Cheetahs), 9 Keagan Johannes (Bulls), 8 Mihlali Mosi (Cheetahs), 7 Sibusiso Sangweni (Lions), 6 Nama Xaba (WP), 5 Janko Swanepoel (Bulls), 4 Victor Sekekete (Cheetahs), 3 Robert Hunt (Bulls), 2 Marnus van der Merwe (Cheetahs), 1 Simphiwe Matanzima (Bulls)
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste (Sharks), 17 Dewald Maritz (Pumas), 18 Kwenzo Blose (WP), 19 Shane Kirkwood (Pumas), 20 Willie Engelbrecht (Pumas), 21 Embrose Papier (Bulls), 22 Tristan Leyds (WP), 23 Devon Williams (Pumas)
Additional players: Eduan Swart (Pumas), Keke Morabe (WP), Andries Fouche (Pumas), Sanele Nohamba (Lions), Theo Boshoff (Griquas), Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs), Alwayno Visagie (Pumas)
Fans can still vote for the team captain by using the following voting mechanics: via USSD on *120*660* unique code# or via Facebook messenger.
Tickets are on sale from TicketPro at just R49 – CLICK HERE.
The match build-up will start from 19:30 on SuperSport Variety 3.