Cape Town - The 22-year-old Ikeys flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis has cracked the nod for a run-on slot in the Western Province Currie Cup team to play the Leopards, at Olen Park, Potchefstroom, on Friday night.
Catrakilis made his Currie debut from the substitutes' bench against Griquas at Newlands last week.
Following the injury to the WP first-choice pivot Gary van Aswegen, coach Allister Coetzee had a choice between Catrakilis and Isma-eel Dollie, who previously played Currie Cup rugby for WP and Boland.
"Since Van Aswegen will be out for much longer than expected we (WP) had two ways of addressing the matter," said Coetzee. "The one approach was to be conservative and the other was to be aggressive in our selection. "I've had a chance to look at the two players at training and I looked for one that had the ability to run the show along the backline.
"I needed a flyhalf who could give the side direction, make good decisions, make the right (playing) calls as well as holding his own on defence."
Catrakilis' goalkicking ability may have also swung the vote in his favour as Coetzee referred to him the "most accurate place-kicker in our system".
Coetzee felt that Dollie will have a chance to prove himself again at Currie Cup level but felt Catrakilis was the one to go with for Friday night's game.
"He's (Dollie) a talented player and it's my duty to provide him with an opportunity to show what he can do at this (Currie Cup) level," said Coetzee. "I also won't consider bringing in a flyhalf from outside to solve the problem because at WP we want to back our own guys."
Scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage makes a return to the side after an injury lay-off and he too was a serious contender for the flyhalf berth following his steady performances in that position for the Stormers near the end of the Super Rugby season.
WP captain Deon Fourie said the forwards had worked hard on correcting the mistakes that littered their performance against Griquas. "We sorted out our line-out problems because at Currie Cup level you know you'll be punished if you don't protect your ball," said Fourie.
Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie (captain) and 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19 Nicholas Fenton-Wells, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Isma-eel Dollie and 22 Marcel Brache.