Currie Cup

It's 'father v son' at Newlands

2016-09-02 20:00
Robert du Preez (Gallo)

Cape Town - There will be no less than three Du Preez's involved in Saturday's Currie Cup clash between the Sharks and Western Province at Newlands. 

In the Sharks corner there is coach Robert du Preez, a former Springbok scrumhalf, and his highly-rated son Jean-Luc du Preez. 

Then, in the Western Province corner, there is the oldest of Du Preez's sons in the form of the promising young flyhalf, also named Robert du Preez. 

It could have been even more of a family affair, but the absence of Dan du Preez (Jean-Luc's twin) with a groin injury waters it down somewhat. 

Still, there are enough of them on and off the park to make things interesting. 

Robert du Preez and Jean-Luc du Preez did not meet in Super Rugby this season despite the former having started as Robbie Fleck's first-choice flyhalf at the Stormers. 

But by the time the Sharks were in Cape Town in week 3, Robert du Preez had been ruled out for months after picking up a knee injury against the Cheetahs the week before. 

At the Sharks, meanwhile, the Du Preez brothers were hugely impressive in their breakthrough seasons. 

Robert du Preez, just 23, is the oldest of the three brothers yet seems to be having the most trouble imposing himself on his union. 

Injury did not help during Super Rugby, but he has another chance to step up now with his competitor for the No 10 jersey, Brandon Thomson, set for a spell with the Under-21s after a poor run of form in the Currie Cup.

"I don’t think we’ve had that dominant performance at 10 yet," Western Province coach John Dobson said ahead of Saturday's clash.

"Brandon is one for the future but we felt that his confidence could benefit from playing regularly for regularly for the Under-21s.

"It was a tight call but we’ve gone for Rob because at the moment we just feel that he’s got a bit more x-factor.

"They’re both playing very similar rugby at the moment... to have one on the bench, you’re just replacing like with like."

So, on Saturday, Robert du Preez will look to get one over his 'old man' and his brother as Western Province look to ignite their season. 

As it stands, WP are in 6th position on the log with one win from three while the Sharks are top with four wins from four. 

Teams:

Western Province

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Jurie van Vuuren, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 EW Viljoen

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Juan Schoeman
 
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Rhyno Smith

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