2 minute read
3 Apr 2014
2:54 pm

WP power up for Tusker XV

Western Province will play their first Vodacom Cup game at Newlands this season, when they take on the Tusker Simba XV on Saturday as a curtain-raiser to the Stormers v Waratahs Super Rugby fixture.

Picture: AFP

WP are in third place on the log in the South Section of the 2014 Vodacom Cup competition, with three wins and just one defeat.

South African under-20 players, Michael Willemse (hooker) and Sti Sithole (prop) are back from injury and will sit on the bench, along with Stormers squad member Kurt Coleman.

Rayn Smid, however, is out of action with a broken hand.

Carel du Preez will slot into the number eight position in Smid’s absence, while forwards Lungelo Chonco and Jan de Klerk come into the starting line-up at flank and lock, respectively.

University of the Western Cape (UWC) star Freddie Muller will make his first start of the season at scrumhalf, with scrumhalf Jean Nel also set for his first appearance of 2014 after being named on the bench.

Speaking ahead of the game, coach John Dobson revealed it had been a tough week for the Cape outfit.

“We’ve had a few more disruptions this week, especially with Rayn’s untimely injury, but this is a resilient group of players and they will take it in their stride,” he said.

“The loss of Rayn is a big blow, as a line-out forward and a try-scorer for us, but Carel du Preez, a player for the future, gets a fair chance to start at eighthman — which we believe is his best position.

“We’re also expecting big things from Jan de Klerk. I have coached him at under-21 level, when he joined us from the club ranks, and I believe he has a real future as a professional rugby player.”

WP team: Tiger Bax, JP Lewis, Johnny Kotze, Kyle Lombard, Devon Williams, Gary van Aswegen, Freddie Muller, Carel du Preez, Lungelo Chonco, Rohan Kitshoff (Captain), Jan Uys, Jan de Klerk, Entienne Swanepoel, Michael Kennedy, Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: Michael Willemse, Christo van Wyk, Sti Sithole, Ian Groenewald, Eital Bredenkamp, Jean Nel, Kurt Coleman.