The FNB NMMU Madibaz have announced the 23-man squad that will take on the FNB Pukke in their first match of the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International at the Fanie du Toit Stadium in Potchefstroom on Monday evening.
Enigmatic fullback Jarryd Buys, who held the vice-captaincy for the past two years, will captain the Port Elizabeth-based squad during this year’s campaign.
Madibaz head coach David Maidza said Buys’s calm, levelheaded personality made him the perfect candidate to lead the team.
“What makes him the best man for the job are his clear vision, authority and understanding of those around him as well as his strong personal integrity,” said Maidza.
This year will see a good mix of experience and young blood with an all-new look for the Madibaz side.
Unwilling to single out individual players, Maidza said his men would stand out as a team.
Aside from Buys, he said the team would be underpinned by the return of experienced players such as scrumhalf Daniel Acker, centres Andile Jho and Devon Lailvaux, and wing Tythan Adams.
Stalwart forwards Roy Godfrey, Martin Ferreira, Tim Agaba and Dexter Fahey have moved on, having exceeded the 25-year age limit for the tournament.
The Madibaz will also be without the services of Louis Fourie, Marcel Groenewaldt, Wade Elliot, Chris Cloete and Cameron Lindsay.
Michael Bernardt will be absent from the backline as he is currently on an enforced break due to injury. The hard-running centre, who made such an impact in last year’s Varsity Cup, is set to return in the second or third game of the tournament.
Maidza said the team had been working on building a solid defence ahead of Monday night’s game, as they have not beaten Pukke since the inception of the tournament.
“I would like the team to defend well first before we have the right to attack,” he said.
“We are happy with our preparations and the boys are keen to get the competition going.”
The match will be televised live and starts at 16:45.
FNB Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys (captain), 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Devon Lailivaux, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Wynand Grassmann, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 Tyler Paul, 4 Robert Louw, 3 Steven Robbeson, 2 Dane Van der Westerhuyzen, 1 Arno Ebersohn. Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Rudolph Odendaal, 19 Ivan-John Du Preez, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Steven Hansel, 22 Brian Skosana, 23 Marzuk Maarman.
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