UCT have been boosted ahead of Monday’s must-win Varsity Cup clash against FNB Tuks, with Vodacom Cup scrumhalf Nic Groom having been released from provincial duty.
Groom, a try-scorer in WP’s 16-8 win over the Blue Bulls on Saturday, will wear the No.9 shirt with Nicholas Farrar reverting to the bench.
The rest of the UCT team remains unchanged – from the line-up initially named on Friday by coach Kevin Foote – with Groom joining Tim Whitehead and Marcel Brache in an exciting backline.
Nick Fenton-Wells will, again, skipper the Ikeys – as he has done all season – joining his cousin Greg Mallett (who is back at No.8) and Don Armand at loose forward.
UCT have to beat Tuks to qualify for a fourth successive semifinal, whilst a bonus point victory over Tuks – who beat the three-times champion Maties last week – would secure yet another home semifinal for the Ikeys.
Looking ahead to Monday, UCT coach Foote told varsitycup.co.za this week: “Our destiny is firmly in our own hands.
“We probably enjoy being the underdogs,” he added, “with so much at stake, both teams will be up for it… but it does help being written off like we are.”
UCT Ikey Tigers team (revised): 15 Therlow Pietersen, 14 Mark Winter 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Richard Rijs, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Nick Fenton-Wells (captain), 6 Don Armand, 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Matthew Page, 1 Wesley Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Michael Morris, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Nicholas Farrar, 21 Pete Haw, 22 Sabelo Siyakatshana, 23 Pete Olivier.
Head coach: Kevin Foote
Date: Monday, March 21
Venue: Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 5pm (Live on SuperSport One)
Referee: Rasta Rashivenga
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee