Eastern Province Kings star Kayle van Zyl has returned from injury to join the FNB NMMU side for their fifth-round FNB Varsity Cup clash with FNB Wits in Johannesburg on Monday night.
Van Zyl comes into the Madibaz set-up at fullback after starting the season with the provincial team.
Madibaz head coach David Maidza said although the talented backline player was still on the comeback trail, he would add value to the university side. “He can cover you at scrumhalf or fullback.”
Current fullback Jarryd Buys moves to the flyhalf position to give kicker Gavin Hauptfleisch a well-deserved rest.
“I feel that Gavin does need a bit of a rest having played three full games and most of the last one. But because of his assured boot and good control of the game he cannot be completely out of the match and will start on the bench at 23.”
Maidza said the versatile Buys would be more than capable of controlling and dictating the flow of the game.
In addition to these positional changes, team management had made three enforced changes due to injuries, he said.
Devon Lailvaux will replace Stefanus Booysen, who sustained a knee injury, at left wing.
“Devon has been itching for an opportunity. He is one of the more experienced players in the squad and has been a stalwart for the Madibaz in previous campaigns, so it is comforting to call upon an individual of his stature.”
Rob Louw comes onto the bench in place of utility forward Wade Elliot, who has picked up a shoulder problem.
“Rob has been a longstanding servant of the Madibaz. He’s a great team man and will cover the lock position.”
Replacement scrumhalf Ivan Ludick will also sit the game out due to a troublesome ankle.
Maidza said the Port Elizabeth-based team were ready to put in the required performance after their 52-16 loss to NWU-Pukke.
“We are currently not in a position that we would have wanted to be in, especially dropping vital points at home.
“But we have had a long period of self-reflection and know where we faltered. On the day, Pukke were immaculate in every facet of the game and we just had too many system failures.”
Maidza said their ambitions were still the same and that his men would put all their energies and concentration into the away game against bottom-of-the-log Wits.
“We know we have to win and to do that we need a strong and polished performance from the team.”
The Madibaz are currently sixth in the standings after two wins and two losses.
FNB Madibaz: 15 Kayle van Zyl, 14 Ayabula Dlepu, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Jarryd Buys (vc), 9 Daniel Acker (vc), 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Marcel Groenewald, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain). Replacements: 16 Jody Reyneke, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Rob Louw, 19 Andre Barnard, 20 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 21 Andile Jho, 22 Sinakho Mafu, 23 Christie Lawrence