Barnard gets first start for Cats
February 20, 2003

IRB U21 Player of the Year Pat Barnard will make his SUper 12 debute for the Cats when they take on the Bulls in their opening Super 12 clash on Friday afternoon.

The Western Province prop was a member of the Stormers' pre-season squad, but is on loan to the Cats for the Super 12 competition. He accompanied the Cats on their short tour to the UK recently and did enough to convince coach Tim Lane to pick him ahead of the experienced Baksteen Nell.

Springbok Andre Pretorius got the nod ahead of Kennedy Tsimba at flyhalf. At hooker, another Springbok, James Dalton, was preferred to the Cheetahs' Hanyani Shimange.

There is still uncertainty over the fitness of Lawrence Sephaka, who is battling an ankle injury. He was bracketed with Pietman van Niekerk and will have to pass a fitness test on Friday if he wants to see any action.

A cloud also hovers over the head of Springbok wing Dean Hall, who is troubled by a knee injury. SA under-21 wing Ashwin Willemse is ready to take his place on the left wing if Hall doesn't come through a fitness test on Friday.

Bob Skinstad will lead the Cats in his debut for the franchise, while scrumhalf Norman Jordaan, fullback Jaque Fourie and flank Hendro Scholtz are also newcomers to the side.

Cats: Jaque Fourie, Friedrich Lombard, Gcobani Bobo, Jorrie Muller, Dean Hall/Ashwin Willemse, André Pretorius, Norman Jordaan, Bob Skinstad (capt), Joe van Niekerk, Hendro Scholtz, Willem Stoltz, KleinJan Tromp, Pat Barnard, James Dalton, Lawrence Sephaka/Pietman van Niekerk.

Reserves: Hanyani Shimange, Pietman van Niekerk/Baksteen Nell, Jaun Smith, Russell Winter, Enrico Januarie, Kennedy Tsimba, Adrian Jacobs.

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