FNB UCT utility back Tiger Bax is on trial with English Premiership club, Saracens, and will make his second-team debut in an ‘A League’ fixture against the Northampton Wanderers on Monday.
Bax played in UCT’s first two matches – against Shimlas and Pukke (scoring a try in Potchefstroom) – of the 2011 Varsity Cup, but has now been offered a chance to continue his professional rugby career abroad.
The 22-year-old made his Stormers debut two years ago, but has since struggled with a variety of injuries – robbing him of precious game time and opportunities along the way.
Bax, who is English qualified, will line up at outside centre for the Saracens Storm (the club’s second team) and will be up against a team which boasts the services of former Ikey Tigers vice-captain Stu Commins. (It remains to be seen, however, if Commins will play for Northampton today.)
South African fans will recognise some of Bax’s new teammates in action this week, most notably former Springbok prop Deon Carstens (who is working his way back to fitness via the second team) and the rest of the front row, hooker Ethienne Reynecke and tighthead prop Petrus du Plessis.
Another South African in the mix, is right-wing Nils Mordt - the nephew of former Springbok winger Ray, who, these days, serves as a television pundit on SuperSport.
The Saracens Storm team: 15 Nils Mordt, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adam Powell, 11 James Short, 10 Jake Sharp, 9 Luke Baldwin, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jamie Bache, 6 Don Barrell, 5 Ollie Cooper Miller, 4 Hugh Vyvyan, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Nick Auterac, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Josh Lezszcuk, 21 Tom Chapman, 22 Alex Smith.