Exciting fullback Tiger Bax has been named in the University of Cape Town (UCT) starting line-up for Monday’s Varsity Cup opener against Stellenbosch at Groote Schuur.
The 2009 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International kicks-off with two double headers, involving all eight teams, taking place in Cape Town and Potchefstroom, with the UCT-Maties match – a repeat of last year’s final – attracting plenty of attention.
Ex-Matie Bax, who has been training with the Stormers this season, is one of six newcomers in the UCT starting XV; joining Dane Johnson (wing), Michael Nel (centre), Maxwell Stoffels (flyhalf), Nick Fenton-Wells (flank) and tighthead prop Shane Meier as Varsity Cup ‘newbies’ in this Ikeys side.
On the bench, former Matie Therlow Pietersen will wear the No.22 shirt, having played amongst the opposition in the 2008 Varsity Cup.
JJ Gagiano will once again captain the Ikeys, with head coach John Dobson saying about his team: “It’s a vastly different team from last year’s final and there’s some pretty exciting new guys we’ve picked in the starting line-up. The new guys, in particular, to look out for are Tiger Bax and Dane Johnson in the backline.”
Dobson and assistant coach Robbie Fleck have been working hard during December and January to prepare their side for their tournament-opener and the Ikeys mentor is looking forward to Monday’s clash and the start of the 2009 Varsity Cup.
“It’s been quite a build-up already to the 2009 tournament and we’re looking forward to getting out there and playing on Monday,” said Dobson.
“Yes, it happens to be a repeat of last year’s final, but we’re simply looking at it as our first game of a new season and, hopefully, another step in the direction in this new era for UCT rugby,” added the UCT coach.
“More importantly; it’s a great occasion for us to pay homage to Monte Taljaard our star flank who was killed in a car accident last year. His death puts things like simple log points into perspective.”
UCT: 15 Tiger Bax, 14 Dane Johnson, 13 Michael Nel, 12 Matt Rosslee, 11 Marvin Christians, 10 Maxwell Stoffels, 9 Stu Commins, 8 JJ Gagiano (captain), 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Don Armand, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Dylan Rogers.
Replacements: 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dane Galley, 19 Kuselo Moyake, 20 Michael Morris, 21 Kyle Wickens, 22 Therlow Pietersen.
Head coach: John Dobson
Assistant coach: Robbie Fleck
Kick-off: Monday, February 2, 4.45pm, Groote Schuur