Arnold back for Griquas
Rory Arnold (Gallo Images)
Kimberley - Griquas' coach Pote Human has made three changes to his rugby side for their round two Currie Cup match up against the Sharks on Saturday in Kimberley.
Most notable is the inclusion of Australian lock Rory Arnold in the starting line-up, after he was cleared of biting Free State Cheetahs' hooker Ethienne Reynecke.
Arnold was originally suspended for seven games, but the ban was lifted after he successfully appealed.
Human will need all his charges to bolster the side for the onslaught from a Sharks side out for revenge after losing to Griquas in the first round in Durban.
"We believed in Rory's innocence from the get go and always believed that justice would be done," Human said.
"Now he has been cleared to play and we welcome him back for the Sharks' game. We know it is going to be tough and therefore we are glad to have him in our midst."
Arnold comes into the starting line up in place of Patrick O'Brien, who moves to the replacement bench.
In the other changes to the run-on side, veteran JP Nel reclaims his place at centre in the absence of the injured Jean Stemmet, while kicking winger Nico Scheepers, who can also play at full back, is included at the cost of Richard Lawson.
"Patrick did a fine job in Rory's absence, but the latter was in the mix before the whole bite incident and therefore gets his chance," Human said.
"I can guarantee that Patrick will, however, play an important role from the replacement bench.
"We also welcome back JP Nel and Nico Scheepers, who both got a rest against the Lions as part of our rotation policy."
Griquas have lost four games in succession and the coach said his side could ill afford to lose at home to the visitors.
With the thought of possible promotion/relegation matches at the end of the competition, the warning lights have come on after their loss to the Golden Lions last week at GWK Park.
"We can still avoid the promotion and relegation games, but we have to beat the Sharks this weekend. If not, we will be in real trouble," Human said.
"The guys did well against the Lions, specially if all the off field stuff like Rory's incident is taken into account. But we've put everything behind us now and can not lose a single game from now on.
"Yes, the Sharks are going to be a handful, but it is now time for the players to put their hands up and prove their worth once and for all."
15. PJ Vermeulen, 14. Nico Scheepers, 13. JP Nel, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Rocco Jansen, 10. Francois Brummer, 9. Marnus Hugo, 8. Carel Greeff, 7. Burger Schoeman, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 5. Victor Kruger, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Nick Schonert, 2. Ryno Barnes (captain), 1. Steph Roberts
Substitutes: 16. Matt Dobson, 17. Brummer Badenhorst, 18. Patrick O'Brien, 19. RJ Liebenberg, 20. Jacques Coetzee, 21. Du Randt Gerber, 22. Gouws Prinsloo