Cape Town - Is Huw Jones the next Damian de Allende?
That would take a lot, but Western Province coach John Dobson sees many similarities between the two.
Jones, 21, is given a crack at inside centre against the Sharks on Saturday in the absence of the injured Jaco Taute, and Dobson is excited about finally being able to give him his chance.
“Had it been a final we could have pushed him (Taute), but we always said we wanted to give Huw an opportunity. Huw is more of a 12 than a 13, and certainly more of a 12 than a wing,” Dobson said of the Scottish-born player who was used at both wing and centre in Super Rugby this year.
“He (Huw) reminds me, without quite the step, of a younger Damian (De Allende). Like Damian he’s got a very big pass and the ability to beat people. He’s an attacking 12, he’s not a distributing 12.
“He’s got quite a good boot and he’s strong. So when I say he’s like Damian he’s got the feet, the strength and he’s got the passing game.”
Dobson expects Jones to be severely tested on Saturday, with centre Andre Esterhuizen having been identified as the major physical threat in the Sharks side.
“The Sharks use Andre Esterhuizen to get a lot of their momentum, so that’s a big challenge for Huw. He’s got to adapt to what we think will be quite a physical onslaught,” said Dobson.
“They’ve got those big ball carriers... Jean-Luc Du Preez and Philip van der Walt and Esterhuizen will come into that channel so Huw will have to man up there.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S'bura Sithole, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Francois Kleinhans, 5. Marco Wentzel (captain), 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Dave McDuling, 19. Christiaan de Bruin, 20. Michael Claassens, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Garth April
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Huw Jones, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom (captain), 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Robert du Preez, 22. Kobus van Wyk