Alberton change five players to face Wanderers

TAKING ON THE FIELD: Rahul Maharaj with ball in hand from Alberton Rugby club pushing his way through the opposition. Photo: Alberton rugby club, Rory Lategan

Square Forklift Alberton rugby club will meet Wanderers in their second pre-season match this coming weekend at home.

The Eland team will take on the Wanderers Rugby club on Saturday, March 11, in a home fixture. The first sides that will play will kick off at 13:15.

First-team coach Wayne Williams said a few weeks ago that all the pre-season matches will be viewed as trials. He announced five changes to the team, having not the same combinations on the field as the side that beat Harlequins in Springs a fortnight ago. It is evident that Williams kept his word and that the team will rotate until the correct players take their places when the leagues commences.

In the front row, props Benna Lotter and Rahul Mahara will take places next to the experienced hooker Rudolf Theron, who again was moved from closed side flank. The stalwart, Theron, a quality hooker in his own right, is one of the few players in the Alberton club systems to boast more than 50 Pirates Grand Challenge first team caps.

The engine room will be controlled by Jonathan Swart and the giant physique of Mfundo Funani alongside him.

The loose forwards are made up of the powerful Jason Gradidige and 2016 Lions amateur players’ vice captain for this weekend Quinten Du Plessis and Faf Beukes. Beukes will bring another welcome option at line-out time.

Donovan Putter retains his berth at scrumhalf, with a positional change at flyhalf in the form of Bryan Thysse. This pair has been partnered previously in 2016 as the second halfback pair on the odd occasion.

In the midfield the team will have the solid Rudolf Prinsloo teaming up with Theuns van der Merwe. Van der Merwe being rewarded for his sterling performance against the “Quins”, he will also be handling the co-captaincy role in the back row.

With a more physical approach, the coaches have opted for Kevin Grobler and Jacque Van Wyk on the wings, with Caltino Jones the fleet-footed youngster donning the number 15 jersey.

“We are making a few changes for this fixture. Our goal is to determine which combinations will best suit us. The door is still wide open to make the first side as nothing has been finalised yet. Anyone who performs in any of the Alberton sides this Saturday will be looked at for the future. To be honest, we have got a few quality players in our systems, and it is a nice problem to have,” said William when asked to give insight on his selection.

The bench consists of: Hilmar Deyce, Ryno Ferreria, Dires van der Merwe, Anro Steyn, Thorn Khumalo, Bennie Botes and Andre Lombaard.

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Annette van Schalkwyk

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