Pumas (Currie Cup)

The Pumas (known as the Airlink Pumas for sponsorship reasons) are a South African rugby union team that competes in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup and the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup. The team draws their players from Mpumalanga Province (formerly known as the South Eastern Transvaal) and plays at the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, having previously also played at the Puma Stadium in Witbank.

Pumas Rugby Union logo.svg
Full namePumas
UnionMpumalanga Rugby Union
RegionMpumalanga Province
Ground(s)Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela (Capacity: 40,929)
Coach(es)Jimmy Stonehouse
Captain(s)Shane Kirkwood
League(s)Currie Cup
4th on log
Team kit
2nd kit
Official website
Rugby football current event.svg Current season

The Pumas are a well supported team throughout Mpumalanga Province, with large fan bases located in Witbank, Middelburg, Ermelo and Mbombela.


Formed in 1969 as South Eastern Transvaal, the Pumas are one of the younger unions in the country. The team won the Currie Cup for the first time in 2022.[1]

In 2006, they were coached jointly by Chris Grobler and Danie Gerber, but failed to win any of their 14 matches, finishing last on the log.

They won the Currie Cup First Division (the second tier competition) in 2005 and 2009, both times earning promotion to the Currie Cup Premier Division.

For their 2010 Currie Cup campaign, the Pumas appointed the seasoned Jimmy Stonehouse as coach. Though considered the underdogs of the Currie Cup competition, on 27 August 2010 the Pumas beat current champions the Blue Bulls 22–21 at the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela.[2] They eventually finished 7th.


The team's major tournament wins include:

Current squadEdit

The following players were included in the Pumas squad for the 2023 Currie Cup Premier Division:[3]

Pumas Currie Cup squad




Loose forwards






(c) Denotes team captain and Bold denotes internationally capped.


  1. ^ Schenk, Heinz. "RECAP - Punchy, precise Pumas claim historic first Currie Cup title with 26-19 win over Griquas". Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Pumas shock Blue Bulls in Nelspruit". Planet Rugby. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ "The Pumas Rugby Team". Pumas. Retrieved 13 March 2023.

External linksEdit