Cape Town - Western Province will need a strong performance to secure themselves a Currie Cup semi-final spot when they host the Boland Cavaliers at Newlands on Friday.
The home side have to win the match to secure a semi-final berth, and possibly with a bonus point depending on the outcome of the Johannesburg match between the Golden Lions and the Sharks.
Given the intense rivalry between the teams, the home side is expected to face tough competition as Boland will be playing for pride in their final match of the season. Boland have defeated Western Province three times in the Currie Cup since 1998 - the last time being in Wellington in 2007. However, their last victory at Newlands was in 1998.
Springbok centre Damian de Allende will play his first Currie Cup match of the season this weekend. In one of five changes to the team that beat Griquas in Kimberley last week, the returning Springbok centre comes straight into the starting line-up in place of Huw Jones, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury,
De Allende will be partnered in midfield by Johnny Kotze, after Juan de Jongh returned to Springbok duty this week, whilst in a rotational switch out wide Scott van Breda gets an opportunity to start on the wing, with Werner Kok providing cover from the bench.
In the pack, hooker Mike Willemse returns to the starting XV in place of Bongi Mbonambi, who has also rejoined the national squad. He is joined in the front row by loosehead prop Alistair Vermaak, with JC Janse van Rensburg on the bench.
Coach John Dobson said that with a place in the Currie Cup semi-finals on the line, his team will look to embrace the occasion as they host their neighbours.
"We know that our playoff fate is in our own hands, so the players are really motivated to continue on the upward curve we have been on in the last few weeks.
"Boland will pose a number of different challenges, and they certainly will not lack for motivation themselves, so it should make for a great match to watch at Newlands," he said.
Meanwhile, Boland coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has named former Griquas player PJ Vermeulen at inside-centre for the clash against WP. He will form a promising partnership with Gerrit van Wyk.
In the loose trio, Shaun Adendorff returns to openside flank, after missing last week’s match against the Blue Bulls due to a short suspension. Adendorff recently received a one-week ban for a dangerous tackle against Griquas in Kimberley.
This match will also be the last for two stalwarts of the Boland Cavaliers, as Hanno Kitshoff and Marnus Hugo has announced their retirement from professional rugby after the 2016 season. Kitshoff and Hugo will be representing the Cavaliers for the 62nd and 76th time respectively, when they take the field.
The last time these teams met: Western Province were able to defeat the Boland Cavaliers 25-14 in Piketberg with a half-time score of 15-7. WP scored three tries to two. Flyhalf Robert du Preez was the star of the show with a try, two conversion and two penalties, he was joined on the score-sheet by Chad Solomon and Johnny Kotze who scored a try each.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Scott van Breda, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Dave Ribbans, 20 Jurie van Vuuren, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok
15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Gerrit Van Wyk, 12 PJ Vermeulen, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 hanno Kisthoff, 4 Shaun McDondald, 3 Francois Hanekom, 2 Clemen Lewis(c), 1 Basil Short
Substitutes: 16 Francois Esterhuyzen 17 Enoch Mnyaka 18 Linda Thwala 19 Wayne Wilschut 20 Joubert Horn 21 Gerhard Jordaan 22 Sergio Torrens
Date: Friday, September 30
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Egon Seconds, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman