Currie Cup

Province blood new talent

2014-08-05 19:04
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Eight debutants have been included in Western Province's match-day 22 for their opening Currie Cup match against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

The new-look province side, led for the first time by centre Juan de Jongh, will feature Springbok squad members Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth.

Prop Malherbe has not played since May 3, while lock Etzebeth will feature in his first game of the season.

Both star forwards will get valuable game time ahead of the Springboks' Rugby Championships campaign.

Malherbe will start from the bench as he makes his way back into action from a concussion-related lay-off.

Etzebeth will earn a start in the number-four jersey after being sidelined since November 2013 with a long-term foot injury and a recent a minor toe injury.

"Fortunately for us the two players were part of our pre-season camp and they will know how we plan to play," Coetzee said at Tuesday's team announcement in Bellville.

"We always knew that there would be an outside chance of them playing because neither has played for months and they will be in need of game time before they run out at Test level."

Etzebeth will be partnered by Manuel Carizza, the Argentine second row forward.

In the absence of fullback Jaco Taute, who has suffered a family bereavement, the exciting Cheslin Kolbe has been handed the number-15 jumper.

That has opened the way for speedy Sevens star Seabelo Senatla to play on the wing, while Michael van der Spuy will plug the gap left by Springboks Jean de Villiers and Damian de Allende.

"We have a young but an exciting backline, players like Juan de Jongh, Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis will provide the experience and ensure that the backs stay in structure," Coetzee said.

"Their presence will help players like Cheslin, Seabelo and Michael to do the basics more than anything else.

"The most important thing that we expect from the younger players is that they make the right decisions."

With Duane Vermeulen away with the Boks, flanker Nizaam Carr will play eighthman.

"Nizaam has done well in a roaming role and has provided a link between backs and forwards.

"Now that he is at number-eight he will be freed up a bit and he can play more towards the ball."


EP Kings

15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka/BG Uys

Substitutes: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Darron Nell, 19 Aidon Davis, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa

Western Province

15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh (captain), 12. Michael van der Spuy, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Alistair Vermaak

Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Jean Kleyn, 19. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Robert du Preez, 22. Pat Howard

Read more on:    wp  |  ep kings  |  currie cup  |  allister coetzee  |  cape town  |  rugby

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