De Villiers back in WP starting XV for semi-final
Jean de Villiers will start at outside centre for defending champions DHL Western Province in Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal meeting with the MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 14h30).
National captain De Villiers replaces Michael van der Spuy in the only change to the WP line-up that defeated the Sharks by 17-13 in Durban last Saturday – a result which sealed a top-of-the-log finish for the reigning champions.
Van der Spuy, in turn, falls out of the matchday 22 altogether, with another Springbok centre, Juan de Jongh, joining the replacements bench after dropping out of the team at the 11th hour last weekend with a hamstring injury.
Province are the only unbeaten team heading into the 2013 Absa Currie Cup play-offs. They have also suffered just one defeat at DHL Newlands this entire year – in the guise of the DHL Stormers – and will be hoping to advance to a first home final since 2001.
“To underestimate the Golden Lions would be the biggest mistake ever. This Lions team knows how to win,” WP coach Allister Coetzee told www.wprugby.com.
“They actually played poorly and won against Griquas last weekend. They came from behind and in the second half they’ve been the side that up the intensity and put a lot of teams under pressure, so I’m under no illusions that we have to be careful and not underestimate the Lions.”
* Match tickets for Saturday can be purchased online (wprugby.ticketpros.co.za), from Postnet Outlets, selected Western Cape SPAR stores or the Newlands Box Office.
Ticket prices start at R90 (for standing), with seating ticket prices ranging from R150 to R250. Scholars tickets can be purchased directly from the WP Rugby offices.
The DHL Western Province team to take on the Lions is as follows:
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jean de Villiers (vice-captain), 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. Juan de Jongh
Referee: Marius Jonker