Rugby

Jean-Luc du Plessis, Malherbe return for WP

2018-04-20 11:38
Jean-Luc du Plessis (Getty)

Cape Town - Western Province will kick off their SuperSport Rugby Challenge title defence against the EP Kings at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Coach John Dobson's team went unbeaten last year to claim the inaugural title and will be looking to continue that winning run in their clash with the Eastern Cape side, which kicks off at 15:00 on Sunday.

No.8 Luke Stringer will captain an exciting team with a good blend of talented youth and proven experience at the Wolfson Stadium.

The front row of Ali Vermaak, Dean Muir and Frans Malherbe all boast Super Rugby experience, while the loose trio of Stringer, Johan du Toit and Jaco Coetzee all proved themselves in last year's SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign.

Halfbacks Herschel Jantjies and Jean-Luc du Plessis will look to control matters and unleash the likes of Michal Hazner, Duncan Saal, Grant Hermanus and Tristan Leyds outside them.

Du Plessis makes his long-awaited return from a struggle with a hip and groin injuries, and he will be closely watched by Stormers fans. 

Malherbe is also back after recovering from a neck injury. 

Dobson said that while preparations have not been ideal with many players only joining the squad this week, they are confident of producing a worthy performance to get their title defence off to a good start.

"With Maties winning the Varsity Cup final on Monday and some players also involved with the Stormers, we have not had a lot of time together as a unit.

"However, we have some amazing talent in this team and if we can hit our straps then we have the potential to play some great rugby," he said.

Dobson said that his players are looking forward to what is always a memorable experience at the Wolfson Stadium.

"Last year we really enjoyed playing in these festivals, so we have urged the players to soak up the atmosphere at the Wolfson Stadium, which truly is something special," he added.

Western Province team:

15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Grant Hermanus, 13 Michal Hazner, 12 Joshua Stander, 11 Duncan Saal, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Luke Stringer (captain), 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Labib Kannemeyer, 22 Dan Kriel

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season has wrapped up. For all the season highlights - and lowlights - be sure to visit Sport24!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who would you like to see start in the No 10 jersey for the Springboks in the first Test against England in June?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.