Cape Town - Western Province coach John Dobson has lauded the input of Springbok captain Siya Kolisi as the Capetonians prepare for an important Currie Cup encounter against the Pumas at Newlands on Friday.
Kolisi starts at flank in this must-win encounter and makes a welcome return after a troublesome knee injury.
WP have lost their last two matches - 32-27 to the Sharks in Durban and 30-28 to the Golden Lions in Cape Town - and Dobson said Kolisi's presence has been a major boost.
"Siya has given the team confidence at a time where it was lacking after two defeats. He's been with us for the past three weeks and has been unbelievably professional with his hard work on the training field, insights and support," Dobson told Netwerk24.
"It's impressive to see him buy in on an emotional level. He clearly doesn't just view this match as a step back to the top (Springboks). He is eager to win."
Kolisi will earn his 30th Western Province cap in his first game since 2014, in a match that kicks off at 15:00 on Women's Day.
As a result JD Schickerling moves to lock, with Salmaan Moerat set to make an impact in the second half and Ernst van Rhyn at blindside flank, while Wilco Louw is back in the starting line-up at tighthead prop.
In the backline, Justin Phillips is at scrumhalf, with Sergeal Petersen making his first start of the season on the wing.
There is a potential Currie Cup debut for loose forward Nama Xaba from the bench, with prop Neethling Fouche getting his first opportunity of the campaign and flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis back among the replacements.
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Edwill van der Merwe
15 Devon Williams, 14 Morne Joubert, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Ryan Nell
(captain), 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Ashlon Davids, 8
Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Stefan
Willemse, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1
Substitutes: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay
Terblanche, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Ginter Smuts,
21 Jacobus Marais, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell, 23 Morgan Naude