DAN LOMBARD

FNB UP-Tuks are set to face FNB Maties today at Tuks Rugby Stadium.

The table-topping Maties travel to Pretoria after a narrow 13-8 win over FNB NMMU while Tuks return from Bloemfontein with a historic 23-12 victory over FNB Shimlas.

The only changes to the Tuks squad were forced by injury. Mike Williams is replaced by Paul Willemse while injured captain Wian Liebenburg is replaced by Jacques Verwey. Prop Juan Schoeman replaces the injured Sabelo Nhlapo. William Small-Smith takes over the captaincy from Liebenburg. Small-Smith will be Tuks’s third captain in four games.

Small-Smith told Perdeby that “Maties is the biggest fixture for us and we have prepared well. We are taking a lot of confidence out of the Shimlas game.”

Many changes have been made to the Maties team that played against NMMU. Craig Barry shifts from left wing to full-back while regular full-back Ryan Nell moves to centre and Baby Bok Dean Hammond makes his debut on the right wing. JH Potgieter replaces Dean Grant at fly-half. Reniel Hugo moves from lock to eighth man. Lungelo Chonco and Jan de Klerk earn their first starts. Hein van der Merwe returns to the side on the bench after an injury layoff while Beyers de Villiers gets his first call up to the match-day squad. Helmut Lehman will captain the team.

“We know that Tukkies are the favorites going into the match, so I’ve told the players that they have nothing to lose and that they must give it their all,” Maties coach Chris Rossouw told Varsity Cup.

Both teams have everything to play for in this match as they try to secure home semi-finals.

Squads:

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies 14 Riaan Britz 13 William Small-Smith (captain) 12 Christopher Bosch 11 Courtnall Skosan 10 Tian Schoeman 9 Lohan Jacobs 8 Jean Cook 7 Jacques Verwey 6 Shaun Adendorff 5 Marvin Orie 4 Paul Willemse 3 Hencus Van Wyk 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi 1 Juan Schoeman

Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie 17 Basil Short 18 Schalk Van Heerden 19 Wesley Kotze 20 Clayton Stewart 21 Handre Pollard 22 Piet Lindeque 23 Andrew Beerwinkel

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry 14 Clearance Khumalo 13 Mark Hodgkiss 12 Ryan Nell 11 Dean Hammond 10 JH Potgieter 9 James Alexander 8 Reniel Hugo 7 Lungelo Chonco 6 Helmut Lehmann (captain) 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys 4 Jan de Klerk 3 Brendon Pitzer 2 Neethling Gericke 1 Alister Vermaak

Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers 17 Hein van der Merwe 18 Jurie van Vuuren 19 Beyers de Villiers 20 Jean Nel 21 Dean Grant 22 JP Lewis 23 Niel Oelofse.

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