Fourie named WP skipper
Cape Town - Nine players will make their Absa Currie Cup debuts for Western Province when they take on the Sharks in a first-round match at Newlands on Saturday (kick-off is at 19:10).
Deon Fourie, who will start in the No 6 jersey, was on Wednesday confirmed as WP captain for the 2012 Currie Cup season and he will have a raft of 'new' players around him this weekend.
Backs Gerhard van den Heever, JP du Plessis and Burton Francis all played in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament for the Stormers this year, but will be on debut for WP in the Currie Cup, along with forwards Jebb Sinclair, Don Armand, Tyrone Holmes and Deon Carstens.
Starting centre Du Plessis and reserves Wilhelm van der Sluys and Damian de Allende have all played for the Western Province Under-21 team this season and follow in the footsteps of Springbok squad members, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi, as players who are still eligible for the WP Under-21 side at present.
Thirteen members of the WP matchday squad faced up to the Sharks in their recent Super Rugby clash at this selfsame venue, whilst eight players represented the victorious Vodacom Cup side at some point this year.
"It's important to get off to a good start in the competition irrespective of who you play and home games are particular importance too," said Allister Coetzee, the Western Province head coach.
"We won 14 from 17 (in the Super Rugby season) which shows that there is not a lot wrong and we will definitely not try and re-invent the wheel during the Currie Cup season." Teams:
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. JP du Plessis, 12. Marcel Brache, 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Burton Francis*
9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Jebb Sinclair, 7. Tyrone Holmes, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Don Armand, 3. Frans Malherbe
2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Deon Carstens
Substitutes: 16. Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17. Brok Harris, 18. JC Kritzinger, 19. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Gary van Aswegen, 22. Damian de AllendeSharks: