Pumas migrate from Witbank to Nelspruit

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

The Pumas Rugby Union will be relocating from Witbank to Nelspruit in the 2009 season.

Nico Swart, chief executive of the Mpumalanga Rugby Union, said the decision to move to Nelspruit had been a fairly easy one with its primary driving force being the establishment of the Mbombela Stadium.

This will allay fears that the stadium will become a white elephant after the Fifa World Cup in 2010 since the province has no team campaigning in the Premiership.

"The role players involved in this decision, including the provincial government, felt using the stadium for provincial rugby among other things would contribute to its viability and sustainability," said Swart.

The Pumas would also be looking to capitalise on their popularity in the Lowveld with the change.

The Pumas played against the Free State Cheetahs in a compulsory friendly game at Nelspruit High School a fortnight ago.

Despite losing the game 52-19 they enjoyed massive support as the game was played in front of a near capacity crowd of rugby enthusiasts.

"We hope that they will continue to support us when we move there," said Swart.