Western Province will play their final Currie Cup warm-up match against Namibia at the Hage Geingob stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
News 24 reports that after last week’s runaway 63-17 win over an Eastern Cape XV, new WP Currie Cup coach Allister Coetzee will be looking for stronger opposition as he prepares to fine tune his squad for the season, which kicks off against the Sharks, in Durban, on June 20.
The Welwitschias, the Namibian team’s nickname, are likely to offer a far greater challenge as several players did duty for the national side in the World Cup finals in France last year.
With WP’s player resources seriously curtailed as a result of Springbok call-ups, Coetzee will have to rely on the reserve talent available at the Newlands-based union for this friendly, which has attracted great interest in Windhoek.
Strong ties with South Africa
Coetzee has retained the same starting XV which did duty in East London last week, but he has bolstered his substitutes’ bench with the inclusion of Stormers players like lock Adrian Fondse, flanker Francois Louw and fullback Gio Aplon, who has just returned from Springbok Sevens duty.
Namibian coach John Williams has had strong ties with South African rugby and should know what the Cape Town visitors have to offer. He is a former assistant coach to Heyneke Meyer at the Blue Bulls.
He assisted Jake White in 2002 when the South African Under- 21 team won the Junior Rugby World Cup. In 2006, as head coach, he guided the Falcons to the Vodacom Cup championship.
Williams will also be looking to sharpen his charges ahead of Namibia’s African World Cup preliminaries which kicks off against Senegal, in Dakar, next week. Namibia are grouped with Senegal and Zimbabwe in Pool-A.
Joe Pietersen, Wylie Human, Dylan des Fountain, PJ Vermeulen, Zhahier Ryland, Ricardo Croy, Alastair Siegelaar, Justin Melck, David Hendricks, Pieter Myburgh, Rito Hlungwani, Francois van der Merwe (captain), Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: Mark Goosen, Wicus Blaauw, Ruaan du Preez, Adriaan Fondse, Tyrone Holmes, Francois Louw, Danie van der Merwe, Gio Aplon, Terry Jacobs.
TC Losper, Deon Mouton, David Philander, Jaco van Zyl, Ryan Witbooi, Melrick Africa, Eugene Jantjies, Tinus du Plessis, PJ van Lill, Jacques Nieuwenhuis (captain), Eugene Forbes, Wacca Kazombiaze, Jane du Toit, Hugo Horn, Johnny Redelinghuys.
Replacements: Hauta Veii, Ivan Gaya, Ockert du Plessis, Gawan Esterhuizen, Elrich Jansen, John Drotsky, Bradley Langenhoven, Desmond Haihambo, Deon Pieters, Luwayne Kotzee, JP Myburgh, Colin de Koe.