DHL Western Province change four for Sharks
DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has named four Springboks in his starting XV for Saturday’s final-round Absa Currie Cup encounter against the Sharks in Durban (kick-off 19h10).
Outside centre Juan de Jongh, No.8 Duane Vermeulen, flanker Siya Kolisi and lock Eben Etzebeth will all start for the unbeaten defending champions, whilst national skipper Jean de Villiers will be on the bench.
De Villiers will join Springbok colleague Schalk Burger amongst the DHL WP replacements, with utility forward Michael Rhodes dropping to the bench to make way for the return of second row star Eben Etzebeth.
Flanker Rynhardt Elstadt (shoulder) misses out with an injury this week, whilst No.6 Deon Fourie will, again, lead the Province team into battle.
Eleven players who started in last year’s Absa Currie Cup Final – also against the Sharks and also at Kings Park in Durban – will return in starting roles for this weekend’s top-of-the-log clash, with prop Frans Malherbe and scrumhalf Nic Groom part of the bench this time.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash, the final match of the league phase of the 2013 Currie Cup competition, Coetzee told www.wprugby.com: “We have selected our best available team, taking into account the recent workload of someone like Jean de Villiers, and we’re looking forward to facing the Sharks.”
Province have won seven matches so far this season and drawn two, which sees them top the log by one point over the second-placed Sharks, who have tasted defeat twice this season.
A win for DHL WP – who, like the Sharks, have already secured a home semifinal – will see them finish the regular season in first position on the overall Absa Currie Cup standings.
“There is always something at stake when you represent DHL Western Province,” said Coetzee, “(and) we will be doing our best to pick up a win and finish the league phase of the Absa Currie Cup unbeaten.”
The DHL Western Province team to take on the Sharks is as follows:
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Schalk Burger, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Jean de Villiers
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan