Cape Town - Western Province backline ace Johnny Kotze has been entrusted with the No 13 jersey for Saturday's Absa Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Kotze, 22, replaces the injured Juan de Jongh at outside centre in the only starting change from last weekend’s hard-fought 9-3 win over the Free State Cheetahs in Cape Town.
Kotze made eight Super Rugby starts for the Stormers earlier this season (on the wing), but this will be his first Currie Cup start - having made his tournament debut off the bench two weeks ago against Griquas.
Western Province coach John Dobson told the WP Rugby website: “It was always our intention to get Johnny into the No 13 jersey at some point, but, of course, it has now been necessitated by Juan’s injury.
“We certainly are very excited about this opportunity for Johnny - he is a skilful and level-headed player and I have no doubt he will flourish at this level.”
There are also three changes on the Province bench this week, with Springbok squad member Scarra Ntubeni replacing Marius Fourie as the hooker replacement, Chris van Zyl replacing fellow lock Jan de Klerk and Huw Jones coming in for Kobus van Wyk as specialist centre cover.
Jones will be on Currie Cup debut for Western Province, despite making 14 appearances for the Stormers this year.
Dobson added: “With Juan out we need cover at inside centre and Huw gives us a great option off the bench in that position.
“It was a tough call leaving Kobus out, but we have picked a team we believe can do the job for us at Loftus Versfeld in what should be a fast-paced encounter.”
WP (third place on the log), the Lions (second) and the Bulls (first place) are the only remaining unbeaten teams after two rounds of 2015 Currie Cup action and Dobson is expecting a hard-fought North-South Derby in the ‘Bullring’.
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dan Kriel
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom (vice-captain), 8. Nizaam Carr (captain), 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Alistair Vermaak, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Chris Cloete, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones