UCT star in Premier XV squad
Cape Town - UCT's Varsity Cup-winning captain Nick Fenton-Wells has been called up to the Premier XV for Saturday's one-off clash against the EP Kings - a huge honour for the hard-working Ikey Tigers flank.
According to the Varsity Cup website, Fenton-Wells is the only member of the Premier XV squad who does not boast provincial experience. However, his call-up is just reward for his outstanding 2011 Varsity Cup campaign and continued form for UCT in the WP Super League.
The Premier XV contains a good mix of local and overseas-based talent, with South African players from France, Italy and England combining with players from the Cheetahs, Bulls, Pumas and Griquas.
Fenton-Wells's selection is something of a Barbarians-type call-up - all of which adds to the occasion on Saturday and joining him in the mix will be his former UCT team-mate Matt Rosslee, who now plays his rugby for Griquas.
The Premier XV squad will assemble in Port Elizabeth on Thursday and - according to match promoter Willem Strauss - will train twice before fronting up to the Kings, who will play their final warm-up match en route to Bucharest, Romania for the IRB Nations Cup.
"We were unlucky in losing someone like Kyle Brown due to injury on the weekend and Pieter Myburgh (Leicester) and Joe Pietersen (Bayonne) signed with local Super Rugby sides on Monday," said Strauss.
"Another, Marco Wentzel, transferred from Leeds to London Wasps and because of a calf strain, was not allowed by Wasps to travel to Port Elizabeth. Despite those setbacks, I believe this team can give the Kings a real go."
Meanwhile, the Kings boast something of a Varsity Cup flavour themselves. No less than five members of their squad have considerable Varsity Cup experience.
Right-wing Marcello Sampson played for UCT between 2008 and 2010, Wayne Stevens captained Shimlas in 2010, SP Marais is a former Pukke star, André Schlechter played for Maties and Shimlas and replacement scrumhalf Danie Faasen appeared for Tuks in this year's Varsity Cup.
Eastern Province Kings:
15 Mzwandile Stick (captain), 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Siyanda Grey, 12 Wayne Stevens, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Mpho Mbiyozo, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Barend Pieterse, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels
Substitutes - from: Frank Herne, André Schlechter, Pumlani Nodikida, Wayne van Heerden, Darron Nell, Jacques Potgieter, Luke Watson, Danie Faasen, Shane Gates, Jaco Bekker, Baldwin McBean.
Premier XV squad:
Cecil Afrika (Springbok Sevens), Danwel Demas (Aironi, Italy), Bernardo Botha (Springbok Sevens), Sam Gerber (Bayonne, France), Gcobani Bobo (Newcastle Falcons, England), Wilmaure Louw (Cheetahs Super Rugby), Matt Rosslee (Griquas), Marnitz Boshoff (Blue Bulls), Heini Adams (Begles-Bordeaux), Stefan Basson (Rovigo, Italy), Chris Dry (Springbok Sevens), Boom Prinsloo (Springbok Sevens), Doppies le Roux (Pumas), Nick Fenton-Wells (UCT), Wessel Jooste (Bourgoin, France), Juandré Kruger (Bulls Super Rugby), Petrus du Plessis (Saracens, England), Danie Saayman (Castres, France), Rayno Gerber (Stade Français, France), Brett Sharman (Northampton Saints, England), Hans van Dyk (Pumas).
Date: Saturday, June 4
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 15:00 (Live on SuperSport One)
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Phillip Bosch
TMO: JC Fortuin