Cats jolt Januarie

Ricky Januarie’s appalling form this season for the Cats has finally caught up with him.

Januarie, who was particularly poor in the 34-all draw with the Western Force last Friday, was one of several changes to Cats team to play the Blues on Saturday. His place is taken by young Jano Vermaak, who has improved with each outing this season.

Januarie’s alarming dip in form – and he seems to have gained some weight too – will also be a major worry for Springbok coach Jake White, just a month ahead of the international season.

Also missing from the team released on Wednesday is inspirational captain Wikus van Heerden who has been ruled out again. Flyhalf Andre Pretorius retains the captaincy armband, after deputising for the past two matches.

Despite the Cats showing a marked improvement in the second half against the Force, coach Frans Ludeke is clearly still unhappy with several of his underperforming stars.

The Cats have also dropped Grant Esterhuizen as well as inside centre Doppies la Grange for Saturday’s match against the Blues at Ellis Park.

Jaque Fourie moves back to outside centre and he will be partnered by Springbok team-mate Wayne Julies in midfield. Wylie Human, who scored the try at the death against the Force as a replacement, regains his place in the starting line-up in the No 11 jersey.

Up front, Willem Stoltz returns to the second row after a cheek bone injury to the Gerhard Mostert rulled the youngster out of the clash. Tighhead prop Daniel Muller is also axed and his place goes to Bertus Smit.

Cats team: Earl Rose, Conrad Jantjes, Jaque Fourie, Wayne Julies, Wylie Human, André Pretorius, Jano Vermaak; Ernst Joubert, Trevor Hall, Cobus Grobbelaar, Willem Stoltz, KleinJan Tromp, Bertus Smit, Delarey du Preez, Lawrence Sephaka. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Pietman van Niekerk, Alten Hulme, Gerhard Vosloo, Enrico Januarie, Doppies la Grange, Grant Esterhuizen.

By Andrew Hollely