Former Maties fullback Tiger Bax has been named in UCT’s starting line-up for Monday’s Varsity Cup clash against Stellenbosch.
Bax, who spent time with the Stormers this year, is one of six newcomers in the Tigers run-on side including winger Dane Johnson, centre Michael Nel, Nick Fenton-Wells at flank and tighthead prop Shane Meier.
While in a strange move, last year’s star flyhalf, Matthew Rosslee has been named at centre with debutant Maxwell Stoffels running at pivot.
JJ Gagiano will once again skipper the side in a repeat of last year’s final.
“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,” says coach John Dobson. “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 in preparation for this year’s competition and are eager to kick things off in style.
“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.
“More importantly it’s a great occasion for us to pay homage to Monte Taljaard our star flank who was killed 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 (C) 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Don Armand, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Dylan Rogers.
Subs – 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dane Galley, 19 Kuselo Moyake, 20 Michael Morris, 21 Kyle Wickens, 22 Therlow Pietersen.