Nelspruit - Pumas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has played his biggest trump card by including flanker Chris Cloete in his starting line-up for Friday night’s Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria (19:00 kick-off).
It could be Cloete’s final game for the Pumas before joining Irish club Munster at the completion of the domestic season.
Janse van Rensburg had to replace loose forwards Brian Shabangu and Thembelani Bholi, lock Stefan Willemse and fullback Justin van Staden for the final league game of the season.
Cloete and Nardus van der Walt will start on the side of the scrum, Jannie Stander will fill Willemse’s boots and Gerrit Smith moves from midfield to fullback.
In two other positional switches, Trompie Pretorius moves to outside centre with Selom Gavor getting a starting opportunity on the wing.
Winger Gerrie Labuschagne also gets his first opportunity in the match-day 22.
The Pumas are still in with a shot at making the semi-finals if they can claim five points at Loftus Versfeld, and the Free State Cheetahs get no points from their fixture against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park.
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Jano Venter, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Travis Ismaiel
15 Gerrit Smit, 14 Selom Gavor, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Ruwellyn Isbel, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jannie Stander, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Khwezi Mona
Substitutes: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Gerrie Labuschagne