Steval Pumas delighted by inclusion in new Currie Cup – 3rd March 2017

Steval Pumas delighted by inclusion in new Currie Cup

The Steval Pumas have cemented their reputation as one of the top rugby franchises in South Africa, with their inclusion in the new Currie Cup Premier Division format announced by SA Rugby last Friday.

The Currie Cup is returning to a more intense, strength-versus-strength format this year following a decision of the SA Rugby Special General Council in Friday. The Premier Division is contracting from nine to seven teams, including the top six sides from last season, and the Steval Pumas, who had the best record of the remaining teams over the past five years.

Mpumalanga Rugby Union CEO Pieter Burger said that the team is humbled by the opportunity to once again participate in one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby competitions in the world.

“There’s been a huge amount of improvement over the past several years and we are grateful to have received recognition for that. We’ve never wanted to be seen as a team that’s just kept in a competition for good graces, that’s never part of our dreams and aspirations. We want to consistently drive ourselves to be better, beat some of the bigger franchises and continually grow,” said Burger.

Burger added that the much-anticipated decision was healthy for the psychology of players, staff, supporters and sponsors.

“There has been some uncertainty about whether we would be in the Premier Division so this decision is extremely important from a playing, coaching and commercial perspective. A lot of players are attracted to the Pumas because we’ve become known as a very good union which advances careers. This decision therefore continues that attraction,” Burger said.

The Currie Cup Premier Division will kick off on 12 August. First up for the Steval Pumas is the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, a revamped version of the Vodacom Cup incorporating the north, south and central divisions. The exciting new format will include televised Sunday rugby festivals at community stadiums and clubs, as well as triple headers and regional championships. Before the competition kicks off at the end of April, the Steval Pumas will prepare with warm-up matches against the Lions, Western Province and the Sharks.

Photo: Great excitement in the Steval Pumas camp with the inclusion of the team in the Premier Currie Cup Division 2017. Brent Janse Van Rensburg (Head Coach), Pieter Burger (CEO), Marius Van Rensburg (Operational Manager)

Photographer: Barry Odendaal

Rugby Legends light up Malelane Rugby Weekend – 28th February 2017

Rugby Legends light up Malelane Rugby Weekend

Rugby Legends light up Malelane Rugby Weekend

Thousands of rugby supporters enjoyed a fun-filled, competitive two days of rugby at the Malelane Rugby Weekend, with the Jimmy Stonehouse-coached Pumas Legends beating Ian Macintosh’s South African Legends side 28-7 during the showpiece encounter on Saturday afternoon.

To kick off the 50th anniversary of Malelane Rugby Club, around 500 spectators turned up at the rugby club on Friday afternoon for the first round of matches between school and club sides. Lowveld High, Malelane Ou-Olifante, the Middelburg XV and the Malelane XV were all victors in a set of closely-fought encounters.

 Saturday’s action-programme attracted more than 2000 supporters, as clubs from across Mpumalanga battled it out before the big match between the two Legends sides. The match was the first time the SA Legends side played in their new J9 jerseys in honour of Joost van der Westerhuizen. A minute’s silence was observed before the start of play for the late Springbok hero.

Despite stiff competition in the SA Legends team from Wim Visser, John Mametsa, Kennedy Tsimba and Werner Cronje, the Pumas Legends came out tops with four converted tries against the SA Legends’ one. The crowd gave their whole-hearted support to former Pumas stars such as MJ Mentz, Corne Steenkamp, Jaco Bouwer and Doppies le Roux.

“The match was played in very good spirit and it was amazing to see the support on the day. We would like to give a big thank you to SA Legends, Mpumalanga Rugby, the Malelane Rugby Club and all the sponsors for making such a unique event for the province possible,” said coach Stonehouse, who is on holiday in the Lowveld before he returns to Japan to coach Toshiba Brave Lupus.

The Malelane Rugby Club and the SA Legends also voiced their appreciation for the event’s sponsors and the various teams and supporters who made the weekend a success.

 

Malelane Rugby Weekend - Match Results

24 February

 

Uplands College (17) vs Lowveld High (19)

Malelane Ou-Olifante (26) vs Leeulopers (12)

Komatipoort (3) vs Middelburg XV (10)

Malelane XV (15) vs Lowveld Rhinos (10)

 

25 February

 

Barberton II (45) vs Ngodwana (19)

Pumbas I (26) vs Nelspruit II (5)

Ratels I (19) vs Witrivier II (10)

Barberton 1 (12) vs Middelburg XV (45)

Nelspruit I (12) vs Raiders XV (17)

Lydenburg I (12) vs Standerton I (19)

SA Legends (7) vs Pumas Legends (28)

Witrivier I (0) vs Raiders I (17)

Malelane I (5) vs Pongola I (15)

Belfast I (7) vs Carolina I (15)

 

Photo: Morne Kruger and Dewald Pretorious in Malelane playing for the Pumas Legends

Photographer: Rhetha Nel

SA and Pumas Legends headline Malelane Rugby Weekend – 15th February 2017

SA and Pumas Legends headline Malelane Rugby Weekend

The Malelane Ruby Club will celebrate its 50th birthday in style on 24 and 25 February during a thrilling line-up of school and club matches, headlined by a special clash between the South African Rugby Legends and the Pumas Legends.

The Malelane Rugby Weekend has been the club’s biggest annual event since 1996. Starting out as a local club occasion, the weekend has grown to attract clubs from all over Mpumalanga. This year the event has soared to new heights with the commitment of SA Rugby Legends and a side packed with former Pumas stars.

Ian Macintosh, who was head coach of the Springboks in the early 1990s, will take charge of a sparkling SA Rugby Legends team including the likes of Wim Visser, John Mametsa, Kennedy Tsimba and Werner Cronje.

Former Pumas head coach Jimmy Stonehouse, who led the side to their second Currie Cup First Division title in 2009 and cemented the Pumas in the Premier Division, will coach the Pumas Legends side.  Stonehouse is back in the Lowveld on holiday before he returns to coach Toshiba Brave Lupus in Japan.

“During my time at the Pumas I coached many of the players playing in the match against the SA Legends. They approached me and I was more than happy to agree. It’s going to be very exciting to reconnect with the guys and I think it’s also a great motivation for supporters to get behind the current Pumas side for the upcoming Currie Cup,” said Stonehouse.

Returning to the field against the SA Legends, Pumas fans should look out for MJ Mentz, Corne Steenkamp, Jaco Bouwer, Ashley Buys, Ashwin Scott, Francois van Wyk, Hyron Thyse, Ronnie Uys, Doppies le Roux, Valentine van Wyk and Jovan Botha.

The weekend’s action gets underway on Friday at 16h00 with several school and club matches. 11 more matches will take place on Saturday, with the headline encounter taking place at 15h40. Tickets cost R10 per person, and there will be a cash bar, food, kiddies corner and big screen rugby at the club.  

SA en Pumas Legendes hoogtepunt van die Malelane Rugby Naweek

Die Malelane Ruby Klub sal op 24 en 25 Februarie hul 50ste verjaardag in styl vier. Daar is opwindende skool en klubwedstryde opgelyn, waarvan die hoogtepunt 'n spesiale wedstryd tussen die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugby Legendes en die Pumas Legendes sal wees.

Die Malelane Rugby Naweek is die klub se grootste jaarlikse gebeurtenis sedert 1996. Dit het begin as 'n plaaslike klub geleentheid, maar oor die jare het hierdie naweek gegroei om buite klubs en skole ook te betrek. Hierdie jaar het die geleentheid nuwe hoogtes bereik met die verbintenis van die SA Rugby Legendes en voormalige Pumas sterre.

Ian Macintosh, wat in die vroeë 1990's hoofafrigter van die Bokke was, sal in beheer wees van 'n sprankelende SA Rugby Legendes-span, wat spelers sal insluit soos Wim Visser, John Mametsa, Kennedy Tsimba en Werner Cronjé.

Voormalige hoofafrigter van die Pumas, Jimmy Stonehouse, wat hul tweede Curriebeker Eersteliga-titel gelei het in 2009, en die Pumas in die Premier-afdeling gevestig het, sal die kant van die Pumas Legendes afrig. Stonehouse is met vakansie terug in die Laeveld voordat hy sal terugkeer na Japan om die Toshiba Brave Lupus af te rig.

"Gedurende my tyd by die Pumas het ek baie van die spelers afgerig wat in die wedstryd teen die SA Legendes gaan speel. Hulle het my genader en ek was meer as bereidwillig om te help. Dit gaan baie opwindend wees om die bande met die ouens op te tel en ek dink dit is ook 'n groot motivering vir ondersteuners om agter die huidige Pumas kant vir die komende Curriebeker in te val," het Stonehouse gesê.

Pumas aanhangers moet uitkyk vir manne soos MJ Mentz, Corné Steenkamp, ​​Jaco Bouwer, Ashley Buys, Ashwin Scott, Francois van Wyk, Hyron Thyse, Ronnie Uys, Doppies le Roux, Valentine van Wyk, Jovan Botha en Francois van Wyk wat teen die SA Legendes terugkeer na die veld.

Die naweek se verrigtinge begin reeds op Vrydag om 16:00 met verskeie skole en klub wedstryde. Op Saterdag sal nog 11 wedstryde plaasvind, met die hoogtepunt-spel wat om 15:40 sal afskop. Kaartjies kos R10 per persoon, en daar sal 'n kontantkroeg, kos, kinderhoek en groot skerm rugby by die klub beskikbaar wees.

 

Photo 1: Many of the players seen in this photo of the 2009 Currie Cup First Division winners with Jimmy Stonehouse will be playing in the Pumas Legends team (sorry for low res)

Photographer: unknown

Photo 2: Jimmy Stonehouse

Photographer: Hennie Homann

Sevens teams vie for title of provincial champions – 14th February 2017

Sevens teams vie for title of provincial champions

The rugby season is starting to gain momentum across South Africa, and the Mpumalanga Rugby Union (MRU) will kick things off with the Provincial Sevens Championship at the Nelspruit Rugby Club this Saturday.

After the regional tournaments last weekend, this weekend’s event will see the top four teams in the Lowveld battling it out with the top four Highveld teams for the title of provincial sevens champions.

The Lowveld teams include Nelspruit 1, Nelspruit 2, Barberton Rugby Club and Rooikatte from Lydenburg, who will come up against Sasol 1, Sasol 2, Middelburg Rugby Club and Standerton Rugby Club from the Highveld.

The day gets underway with a clash between Nelspruit 1 and Sasol 2 at 10:00. There will be Shield, Bowl and Plate brackets, before the Cup Final takes place at 14:20.

Roelof Kotze, Amateur Rugby Manager for the MRU, said the event gives players an early-season opportunity to prove themselves. 

“The event also allows provincial coaches to develop their plans for the year. It’s also a good lead up into the fifteens season. We are looking forward to Saturday and encourage members of the public to come and enjoy some exciting rugby action,” said Kotze.

Entry for the day is R10, with food and drink on sale at the club.

Sewes spanne ding mee om provinsiale kampioene titel

Die rugbyseisoen is besig om momentum te bereik regoor Suid-Afrika, en die Mpumalanga-rugbyunie (MRU) sal die seisoen afskop met die Provinsiale Sewes Kampioenskappe wat op Saterdag by die Nelspruit-rugbyklub gehou gaan word.

Na afloop van die plaaslike toernooie verlede naweek, sal die naweek se geleentheid die top vier spanne in die Laeveld sien meeding teen die top vier Hoëveld spanne om die titel van provinsiale sewes-kampioene in te palm.

Die Laeveld spanne sluit in Nelspruit 1, Nelspruit 2, Barbeton Rugbyklub en die Rooikatte van Lydenburg, wat teen Sasol 1, Sasol 2, Middelburg Rugbyklub en Standerton Rugbyklub van die Hoëveld te staan sal kom.

Die dag sal afskop met 'n botsing tussen Nelspruit 1 en Sasol 2 om 10:00. Daar sal Shield, Bowl en Plate brackets wees, voor die eindstryd om 14:20 plaasvind.

Amateur Rugby Bestuurder vir die MRU, Roelof Kotze, het gesê die dag gee spelers 'n vroeë-seisoen geleentheid om hulself te bewys.

"Die geleentheid laat ook provinsiale afrigters toe om hul planne vir die jaar te ontwikkel. Dit is ook 'n goeie aanloop tot die vyftiens-seisoen. Ons uit na Saterdag en ons moedig lede van die publiek aan om te kom kyk en opwindende rugby aksie geniet," het Kotzé gesê.

Toegang vir die dag is R10, met kos en drank wat te koop sal wees by die klub.

 

 

Photo: Nelspruit Rugby Club 1st team and Rooikatte Lydenburg Rugby Club 1st team following the final of the Lowveld 7’s tournament on Sat 11th Feb 2017 in Barberton

Photographer: Nelspruit Rugby Club FB page

Schoeman leaves on loan to Stormers – 2nd February 2017

Schoeman leaves on loan to Stormers

The Steval Pumas would like to announce the temporary departure of Marnus Schoeman, as the talented loose forward decides to take an opportunity to play Super Rugby for the Stormers on a loan agreement. 

Schoeman (28) has been an integral part of the Steval Pumas squad since his debut at the start of the 2015 season, having scored 16 tries in 29 appearances for the Mpumalanga side. The flanker was unlucky to have missed selection in 2016 due to injury concerns. He is still contracted with the Steval Pumas and is scheduled to make his return on 1 June after his loan spell with the Stormers.

“We will obviously miss Marnus as he is an exceptional player who has been of great value to our side. The union invested heavily in his rugby development and he continues to play an integral part of our plans for the future: we look forward to welcoming him back into the squad,” said Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger.

“For now, however, we want to wish him every success for this opportunity to play for the Stormers. We are excited to see the contribution he can make on the Super Rugby stage,” said Burger.

The move again illustrates that the Steval Pumas are a franchise producing a steady stream of world-class players with the potential to perform on the biggest stage.

“These type of things aren’t just a stroke of luck. We are consistently producing quality players and hope to soon be seen as equal partners on the franchise level,” Burger said.

Schoeman, who has already moved down to Cape Town to join the Stormers in time for a once-off warm-up game against the South Western District Eagles this weekend, said that he is eager to prove himself.

“Obviously, it is every player’s dream to play for the Springboks, and Super Rugby is the stepping stone to this. I really want to make the best of the opportunity during the prime of my career,” said Schoeman.

Schoeman confirmed that he is still committed to the Steval Pumas.

“My time with the Pumas has been fantastic and I don’t see returning as a step back for me at all. The new coach Brent Janse van Rensburg is installing a whole new plan and culture, which I really look forward to being a part of,” he said.  

 

 

Photo: Marnus Schoeman

Photographer: Andre Meintjies

Bearding together for the kids – 30th January 2017

Bearding together for the kids

The Steval Pumas are proudly showing their commitment to underprivileged children in the Lowveld, by deciding to go unshaven until 1 June, to raise awareness and funds for the Woodhouse Community Centre orphanage in Mataffin. Teaming up with local petrol provider and sponsor Milviforce Puma N4, the initiative aims to raise money for the construction of a much-needed library for the children.

The #Pumasbeardbrothers are encouraging members of the public to join the cause by growing their facial hair and donating the money normally used for shaving to the kids. A collection point will be set up at the Milviforce petrol station on the N4 just past i’Langa Mall, where you can also donate other items such as books and stationery.

Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger, who will also be putting down his razor, said that he was impressed that the idea had come from within the playing squad. “We are very impressed that the players came up with this idea themselves. It proves that they feel strongly about getting personally involved in bettering the lives of their community. We are always looking at worthy community initiatives to support throughout the year and this is the perfect start to 2017,” said Burger, who also expressed gratitude to Milviforce owner Tshepiso Phosa for partnering with the team. The teams’ beards will be kept in tip-top shape by Meyer Le Roux from Buffelsfontein Baard-Olie in Pretoria, who will be providing product, running fun competitions and sharing the initiative on social media.

The Steval Pumas hope that their whiskered journey will spread to friends, family and fans, giving children the opportunity to learn to read and expand their world.

Keep an eye on the Steval Pumas Facebook page, where you can keep track of the players’ progress.

 

Steval Pumas groei hul baarde vir ‘n goeie doel

Die Steval Pumas het met trots hul verbintenis met minderbevoorregte kinders in die Laeveld gewys deur ‘n  besluit te neem om tot 1 Junie ongeskeerd te gaan. Hierdie poging is om bewustheid te skep en fondse in te samel vir die Woodhouse Gemeenskapsentrum kinderhuis in Mataffin. Hulle het saamgespan met die plaaslike petrol verskaffer en borg Milviforce Puma N4, en die inisiatief is daarop gemik om geld in te samel vir die bou van 'n broodnodige biblioteek vir die kinders.

Die #Pumasbeardbrothers moedig lede van die publiek aan om mee te doen aan hierdie inisiatief deur hul baarde te laat groei en die geld, wat normaalweg gebruik sou word vir skeer-doeleindes, aan die kinders te skenk. 'n Versamelpunt vir insamelings sal opgestel word by die Milviforce vulstasie op die N4 net verby I'Langa Mall, waar die publiek ook ander items soos boeke en skryfbehoeftes sal kan skenk.

Die uitvoerende hoof van Mpumalanga Rugby, Pieter Burger, wat ook sy skeermes sal bêre vir hierdie doel, het gesê dat dit hom beïndruk dat die idee van binne die groep gekom het.

"Ons is baie beïndruk dat die spelers self met hierdie idee vorendag gekom het. Dit bewys dat hulle sterk voel daaroor om persoonlik betrokke te raak by die verbetering van die lewens van die mense in hul gemeenskap. Ons is altyd op soek na waardige gemeenskaps-inisiatiewe om deur die jaar te ondersteun en hierdie is die perfekte begin tot 2017," het Burger gesê en ook sy dankbaarheid uitgespreek teenoor die Milviforce eienaar, Tshepiso Phosa, vir die vennootskap met die span.

Die spanne se baarde sal in tip-top vorm gehou word deur Meyer Le Roux van Buffelsfontein Baard-Olie in Pretoria. Hulle sal die produkte verskaf, prettige kompetisies loots en die inisiatief op sosiale media deel.

Die Steval Pumas hoop dat hul baard-groei-inisiatief sal uitbrei na vriende, familie en ondersteuners, om sodoende die kinders die geleentheid te gee om te leer om te lees en hul wêreld uit te brei.

Hou gerus 'n ogie oor die Steval Pumas se Facebook-blad, waar almal op hoogte gehou sal word van die spelers se vordering.

 

Photo: Steval Pumas banded brothers on a beard growing journey to raise funds for charity.

Photographer: Andre Meintjies

Steval Pumas sign Sias Ebersohn and Marko Janse van Rensburg – 21st November 2016

Steval Pumas sign Sias Ebersohn and Marko Janse van Rensburg

The Steval Pumas are delighted to confirm the signing of another two new players, flyhalf Sias Ebersohn and hooker Marko Janse van Rensburg, joining the team for the 2017 season.

With the signings, the Steval Pumas now have a total of ten new players bolstering the squad for next year. Ebersohn and Janse van Rensburg will arrive in Nelspruit on Tuesday to join the rest of the team in pre-season training.

27-year-old Ebersohn is a well-known name in South African rugby, having notched up 74 Super Rugby caps playing for the Free State Cheetahs and the Western Force between 2010 and 2015. Marko Janse van Rensburg (25) is a talented forward who proved to be a formidable force within the University of Stellenbosch’s Varsity Cup team, and has also played Vodacom Cup rugby for Boland.

Newly appointed Steval Pumas head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg welcomed the pair to the side and said that the two players will each add value in their own ways. 

“Sias is an experienced player, a leader, and possesses a special skill set and we look forward to his contribution. Marko adds valuable depth to our hooker stocks for the physical demands placed on the bodies upfront. He is a good ball carrier and possesses solid primary skills. I am confident that both players have the required DNA to contribute positively towards our culture and we look forward to them working towards earning their place within our team,” said Janse van Rensburg.

Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger added that the signings are all part of the coaching staff’s work in laying a solid foundation for the upcoming season.

“The two latest signings are only one component of what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that we give the sponsors, supporters and players what they deserve – a great team having a great season. Sias brings experience and leadership in a key position, whilst Marco with his youth and exceptional talent can bring a lot of energy to the forwards. I wish them and their loved ones all the best, and am looking forward to experiencing their contribution first hand,” said Burger.

Other new players brought into the Steval Pumas setup include Ryan Nell, Tazz Fuzani, Karlo Asperling, Kobus Marais, Morgan Naude, Luxolo Koza, Ruaan Lerm and Mark Pretorius.

Photo: Sias Ebersohn (L) with Pieter Burger CEO (middle) and Marko Janse van Rensburg (R) at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, 21st November 2016

Steval Pumas Golf Day raises R15 000 for Pumas Kidz – 18th November 2016

Steval Pumas Golf Day raises R15 000 for Pumas Kidz

The Steval Pumas Charity Golf Day is always a highlight on the side’s social calendar, and players, coaches, sponsors and supporters all contributed to another fantastic day on and off the golf course this year.

Held at the Nelspruit Golf Club on Friday, the light-hearted competition not only saw the winning teams walking off with generous prizes from the sponsors, but also raised R15 000 for Puma Kidz, a primary school rugby development programme founded by Steval Pumas player Hoffman Maritz.

“Thank you to everyone for joining us today. It is very humbling to see all the effort and support you went to be here. A big thank you to all our sponsors and to the Nelspruit Golf Club for hosting us and always supporting one of the most special days on the calendar,” said Pieter Burger, CEO of Mpumalanga Rugby PTY LTD.

The R15 000 for Pumas Kidz will be used to start a tag rugby tournament in the province for 2017, and to sponsor much needed training equipment.

BestDrive Nelspruit won the award for Best Sponsor Hole, winning a cash prize of R4500 and a Vodacom 2.0 3G Tablet.  

All of the day’s participants left the event with a Pumas 2017 calendar and 18 eggs from Heidel Eggs.

Winning fourballs

1st Place: Team Lowvelder with 105 points. Prize: Vodacom Tablet 2.0 3G sponsored by Vodacom and Salonique Gents Cut & Styling Aid. Valued at R1600.

2nd Place: The Gavin Cox Team with 103 points. Prize: R500 Milviforce petrol voucher, R250 Vleis Paleis voucher and a Distell Klipdrift Ice Bucket hamper.

3rd Place: SPAR DC with 101 points. Prize: R500 Emnotweni meal voucher and R250 Canterbury shirt voucher.

4th Place: Barberton Ford with 101 points. Prize: R440 Chicken Coop Braai Box and R500 Distell Hamper.

5th Place: Pumas Coaches with 93 points. Prize: R250 Rugged Wear voucher and R200 Rooikat voucher.

The Steval Pumas would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the following sponsors:

SPAR DC, Dr Corne Ackerman, Makro, HI Q, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Rooikat Liquor, Crossing SUPERSPAR, Land Rover, Conti Tyres, Distell, K-Fit, Harry Wiltshire, SAB, The Lowvelder, Gavin Cox, DTSMP, Mobile Hydraulics, Gerhard van der Merwe, Protours, Westvaal Motors, Didimata, Vodacom, Barberton Ford, Seatec, Kruger & Associates, Tsogo Sun, Mercure Hotel, Heidel Eggs, Canterbury, USN, Grove SUPERSPAR, Salonique, Rugged Wear, Chicken Coop, Vleis Paleis.

Photo: Morne Crouse of Puma Kidz accepts cheque of R15 000 donation from the Steval Pumas Charity Golf Day 2016.

Frankie Herne sweeps awards at Steval Pumas year-end function – 10th November 2016

Frankie Herne sweeps awards at Steval Pumas year-end function

Held on Thursday night, the Steval Pumas Year-End Awards 2016 recognised the hard work of players, coaches and referees across all levels of rugby, from school right through to professional, this past season.

After a remarkable season, Steval Pumas hooker Frankie Herne was the big winner on the night, netting four awards including Currie Cup Player of the Year, Best Forward Player, Most Tries Scored and the coveted Steval Pumas Player of the Year.

Lambert Groenewald walked away with two awards, including the Best Currie Cup Qualifier Player and the Players Player of the Year. Emile Temperman was named Best Backline Player, while Leighton van Wyk and Justin van Staden won Most Improved Player and Highest Points Scorer respectively. Lock and regular captain Hugo Kloppers was named Most Loyal Player.

Outgoing Steval Pumas head coach MJ Mentz congratulated several players for milestones achieved during the season. Herne, Reynier van Rooyen and Wilmaure Louw were all recognised for reaching 50 caps, while De-Jay Tereblanche celebrated an incredible 150 caps for the team.

Namibian international Renaldo Bothma received special recognition for being the SupaPuma Player of the Year selected by SupaRugby stalwart Andre Bester. Hoffman Maritz won the Sport Unplugged Pumas Ambassador of the Year for his sterling efforts in representing the Steval Pumas brand. 

Mentz thanked the players for their hard work during what was a challenging year for the side.

“Thank you for all your hard work in trying to achieve our goals this season, it was a real privilege to coach all of you. The year we had will undoubtedly make us stronger going forward. For all the players moving on from the Pumas, we thank you for everything you have done for us and wish you success in future,” Mentz said.

Mentz’s successor Brent Janse van Rensburg capped off the evening by announcing the Steval Pumas squad for 2017.

2017 Steval Pumas Squad

Forwards

De-Jay Tereblanche, Lux Khoza, Khwezi Mona, Morgan Naude, Marne Coetzee, Jacques Kotze, Louis Albertse, Mark Pretorius, Frankie Herne, Simon Westraadt, Stephan Greeff, Jeremy Jordan, Wiehan Hay, Tazz Fuzani, Hugo Kloppers, Jannie Stander, Marnus Schoeman, Chris Cloete, Brian Shabangu, Reuben Johannes, Lambert Groenewald, Nardus van der Walt, Ruan Lerm, Dylan Peterson.

Backs

Renier van Rooyen, Emile Temperman, Kevin Luiters, Justin van Staden, Karlo Aspeling, Kobus Marais, Hennie Skorbinski, Marlou van Niekerk, Leighton van Wyk, Deon Helberg, Ryan Nell, Bernado Botha, Tyler Fisher, Ruwellyn Isbell, JP Lewis, Devon Williams, Hoffman Maritz.

Steval Pumas sign eight new players – 7th November 2016

Steval Pumas sign eight new players

The Steval Pumas are excited to officially announce the signing of eight new players to the squad for the upcoming season.   

Former Boland Cavaliers captain Ryan Nell (26), who was announced as the Boland Cavaliers Player of the Year for 2016, will bring his talent to Mpumalanga in the outside centre position.

25-year-old lock Tazz Fuzani and 28-year-old flyhalf Karlo Aspeling have both moved from the EP Kings to join the Steval Pumas. More flyhalf talent arrives in the squad with the introduction of Jacobus Marais (23) from the Vodacom Blue Bulls. 

The side is also delighted to welcome an exciting local prospect in the form of 18-year-old loosehead prop Morgan Naude from Hoerskool Nelspruit.

Luxolo Koza (22) comes into the squad from Griquas to beef up the loose forward stocks, whilst Mark Pretorius (24) will look to make his mark at hooker after moving from the Golden Lions.

24-year-old Lions loose forward Ruaan Lerm has also been contracted to the Steval Pumas, but will only be available for the Currie Cup, starting in June 2017.

“On behalf of all at the Pumas we give a warm welcome to all the new players to Pumas rugby. I am sure they will add value and there certainly is potential within this group and we look forward to the task that lay ahead. We also welcome new additions to our management team in Chris Hopwood as Head Physiotherapist and Lelani van der Merwe as the team Masseuse. Our current Physio Luzahn Louw will be leaving us in December to further her career in private practice and we wish her all the very best in advance for her journey ahead” said Janse van Rensburg.

Photo:

From L-R: Brent Janse van Rensburg (Head Coach), Chris Hopwood (Physiotherapist), Lelani Van Der Merwe (Masseuse), Morgan Naude (Prop), Lux Khoza (Prop), Mark Pretorius (Hooker), Kobus Mare (Flyhalf), Ryan Nell (Centre) and Tazz Fuzani (Lock)