Forgotten Springbok flank Solly Tyibilika will captain a South Eastern Cape selection against Western Province in a compulsory friendly in East London on Saturday.
Rugby 365 reports that Tyibilika, who saw his stocks plummet through a lack of discipline in recent years after falling foul of the management at both the Sharks and Lions, is the only international in the ‘home’ team.
The side is dominated by Eastern Province players, with just eight men from the Border Bulldogs in the 24-man squad.
The decision by the South Western Districts Rugby Union to withdraw their players from trials held in Port Elizabeth last weekend due to a financial dispute, is unfortunate as a combined side representing the three unions was seen as the first step to resurrecting the Southern-Eastern Cape Super 14 franchise, The Spears.
Their withdrawal has severely weakened the team in terms of ability and depth and a solution will have to be found in the interests of rugby in the area.
South Western Districts have indicated they will go it alone in their compulsory friendly against the Blue Bulls on June 6, while the East Cape side play their second compulsory friendly against the Lions in Port Elizabeth on June 13.
The Border/EP side is to be coached by former Western Province scrumhalf Stanley Raubenheimer and Western Province by former Springbok assistant coach, Allister Coetzee.
SEC squad: 15 Ryan Brown, 14 Eckardt Jacobs, 13 Noel de Villiers, 12 Claude Arendse, 11 Ziniko Dumpahi, 10 Ashwell Damons, 9 Sinethemba Jack, 8 Michael Vermaak, 7 Sebastian Hilpert, 6 Solly Tyibilika (captain), 5 Ashley Viviers, 4 Nomani Tonga, 3 Tarshrique Hearn, 2 Neil Jacobs, 1 Pumlani Nodikida.
Replacements – from: Jarryd Taylor, Buhle Mxunyelwa, Michael van Huyssteen, Sivuyile Kodokama, Marlin Lewis, Jeff Taljaard, Thabo Ratyana.
Meanwhile new Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee has named a very youthful team to play in a compulsory friendly against a South Eastern Cape selection in East London on Saturday.
“With a number of our senior contracted players either on duty with the Springbok squad, or on a planned two week post-Super 14 rest and recovery period, I have opted to play a largely younger and less experienced side in our first warm-up fixture,” Coetzee said.
“The game will give us the opportunity to assess the depth of talent we have available and will allow these players another opportunity to put their hands up for selection in this year’s Currie Cup.”
Western Province: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Dylan Des Fountain, 12 Morgan Newman, 11 Zhahier Ryland, 10 Ricardo Croy, 9 Alistair Siegelaar, 8 Justin Melck, 7 David Hendricks, 6 Pieter Myburgh, 5 Rito Hlungwani, 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Nico du Plessis, 19 Tyrone Holmes, 20 Danie van der Merwe, 21 PJ Vermeulen, 22 Richard Lawson.
Date: Saturday, May 31
Venue: Absa Stadium, East London
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Phillip Bosch
Touch judges: Christie Du Preez, Mandla Dakuse