DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting team for Friday night’s ABSA Currie Cup clash with the EP Kings at Newlands.
Only one of those changes is enforced, with wing Seabelo Senatla ruled out because of the ankle injury sustained against the Vodacom Blue Bulls last weekend. Coetzee said earlier in the week that Senatla would be out for a minimum of two weeks, but it seems likely now that he will be out for three or four.SuperSport.com
Pat Howard comes in as Senatla’s replacement, but the exciting addition to the squad as a possible longer term replacement for Senatla should it be necessary, is the talented age-group player Justin Geduld.
“In terms of what Seabelo brought to our game, we feel that Justin might be equipped to bring that,” said Coetzee.
“He has played fullback but he can also play centre and wing. He has all the attributes we need for an outside back, and hopefully he will bring elements we may miss with Seabelo not being there.”
The rest of the changes are motivated by the need to rotate selections to keep as many members of the squad as possible sharp in case they may be required in the business end of the competition. Louis Schreuder comes back as the starting scrumhalf for the first time since the early stages of the Super Rugby season after recovering from his injury problems.
“Nic Groom has played almost all the games for us this year and Louis is a good player who has regained fitness so I think it’s fair that he gets a chance to start now,” said the coach.
The other changes both come in the pack, with Ruan Botha making his first WP start at lock after playing off the bench in the early stages of the domestic season after an impressive run for the Stormers in Super Rugby. Botha replaces Manuel Carizza, while veteran Brok Harris makes his first start of the season at tighthead as vice-captain Pat Cilliers takes a well deserved rest.
“We are not underestimating the Kings,” said Coetzee. “The way we planned the Currie Cup, we decided it was important to keep the team fresh, but at the same time, we are careful not to disrupt our rhythm. You have to remember there is no break in the Currie Cup, so we need to find a way to ensure the players are match sharp in case they are needed later on.
“So we decided that constructive rotations were the way to go. Ruan played well for us in Super Rugby and this season so far he has only come off the bench so he needs to have game time.”
DHL Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (Captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Manuel Carizza, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Justin Geduld.