Cape Town - Western Province head coach
John Dobson has selected a powerful combination for Saturday's Currie Cup
pre-season clash against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth (19:00 kick-off).
Having fielded a largely untried WP XV
selection against the Pumas last weekend, Dobson has recalled most of his first-choice
players for Saturday’s meeting.
Squad captain Juan de Jongh will team up
with national skipper Jean de Villiers in midfield, with powerhouse flank Rynhardt
Elstadt named at No 6 upon his return from a leg injury which saw him miss most
of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
“It’s great to have Juan take charge and to
welcome back Rynhardt Elstadt,” Dobson told the WP Rugby website.
“(Prop) JP Smith and (backs) Louis
Schreuder, Johnny Kotze and Dillyn Leyds were not considered due to their
niggles, which, fortunately, are not of a long-term nature, whilst (hooker)
Mikey Willemse, as we know, picked up an injury last weekend which will see him
out for eight to ten weeks.”
Oli Kebble, Bongi Mbonambi and Entienne
Swanepoel will pack down in the front row, with Jean Kleyn and Ruan Botha
forming an exciting second row combination and Springbok Nizaam Carr, WP’s new
vice-captain, returning at No 8.
Looking at the rest of the team, with
Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Kobus van Wyk the only players retained in the starting
line-up from last weekend, Dobson explained: “Our plan was always to play a lot
of the guys who wore heavy loads in Super Rugby and even in this game we will
manage their game time.
“We have worked hard this week, possibly
too much for a match week, but it’s important that we work back from our first
game on August 7 as our main goal and not get too trapped into focusing solely on
“Look, it’s a strong side and not far off
our best available one and we want to see progress in the departments that we
have been working on in the past few weeks,” added Dobson. “Every team seems to
be talking about how they want to change how they play. Ours is more focused on
getting better at what we do rather than some revolution.”
The WP squad is currently in Plettenberg
Bay, having spent the past few days on a mini pre-season camp ahead of their
second - and final - pre-season friendly.
“It’s been a good camp; there’s been some
hard work and quite a few laughs,” said Dobson.
“It’s a happy group but it has to be
reflected in how they play, defend and clean breakdowns for each other. I hope
to see signs of that on Saturday.”
Western Province will open their 2015 Currie
Cup campaign on Friday, August 7 against the winners of the Currie Cup
qualifying tournament (either Griquas or the Leopards).
15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13
JP du Plessis, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Luther Obi, 10 George Whitehead, 9
Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Cornell Hess,
4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 Schalk
Ferreira, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Tazz Fuzani, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Luke
Watson, 22 Cameron Lindsay, 23 Kevin Luiters, 24 Karlo Aspeling, 25 Siviwe
Soyizwapi, 26 Ronnie Cooke, 27 Tim Whitehead
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13.
Juan de Jongh (captain), 12. Jean de Villiers, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri
Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt
Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Entienne Swanepoel, 2. Bongi
Mbonambi, 1. Oli Kebble
Substitutes: (from): 16. Chad Solomon, 17.
Ali Vermaak, 18. Wilco Louw, 19. Chris van Zyl, 20. Justin Benn, 21. Rayn Smid,
22. Jano Vermaak, 23. Kurt Coleman, 24. Jaco Taute, 25. Huw Jones, 26. Godlen
Masimla, 27. EW Viljoen