Coach Deon Davids has dropped Kavaliers captain Piet van Zyl in the build-up to Boland’s Absa Currie Cup match against the Sharks in Wellington on Friday afternoon.
“Obviously Piet is disappointed not to be playing, but Dries van Schalkwyk really did a good job for us,” said Davids of the change of captains.
Zelim Nel writes on Superrugby that Van Schalkwyk, who departs for the Blue Bulls at the end of the season, takes over the captaincy while the coach has promoted young Roses United centre Cornell Hendricks into the midfield vacancy. “I think Cornell gives us more pace and attacking options at outside centre.”
The line up features five changes from the team that edged the Valke 31-29 almost three weeks ago, with scrumhalf Neil Papier, flanker Angelo Brinkhuys, lock Frikkie Spies and prop Janro van Niekerk joining Hendricks in a reshuffled starting XV.
Scrumhalf Marnus Hugo falls out of the matchday squad and he’s replaced by Papier, while Danie van der Merwe comes onto the bench.
“We’re just rotating Marnus because we feel that Neil is a bit sharper right now, and Danie is a youngster who played for the Blue Bulls and Western Province.”
Meanwhile, Brinkhuys bumps Whalied Heyns to the bench. “We thought about the field conditions, because it’s going to rain, and decided to pick two fetchers,” said Davids. “Angelo has the same attributes as Frankie Horne because they both play to the ball very well.”
Spies has recovered from a shoulder injury to reclaim his place in the second row and Nico Esterhuyse consequently finds a seat among the replacements while Cecil Kemp won’t kit up for action this weekend.
Van Niekerk swaps places with Jean Botha to win a start on the loosehead side of the front row. “Janro’s scrummaging will be very important in this game because of the conditions, and Jean gives us good options off the bench because he can play one or three.”
Hooker Harry Vermaas gets his first sniff of Currie Cup action this season as he displaces an off-form Pieter Wium who has been struggling with the accuracy of his lineout throw-ins for some time.
Centre Deon Scholtz makes a comeback from injury to replace Kobus Meintjes on the bench.
The Kavaliers’ tight win over the Valke was only their second win all season, but a strong opening spell against the Sharks – in a match they eventually lost 38-13 during the first round of the competition – will give Boland a measure of self-belief leading up to an important home game.
“Wellington is a nice place to play you know, and we are really going to back ourselves,” said Davids. “We’ve had some good games against the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls, and the guys are going to give it their best.”
A win could see the Kavaliers lifted into fifth place on the standings, while the prospect of claiming top spot on the log will have the visiting Sharks circling Boland with intent.
Boland: 15-Justin Peach, 14-Danwel Demas, 13-Cornell Hendricks, 12-Lionel Cornelius, 11-Alvin Hugo, 10-Isma-eel Dollie, 9-Neil Papier, 8-Dries van Schalkwyk (capt), 7-Angelo Brinkhuys, 6-Zolani Mofu, 5-Bradley Mockford, 4-Frikkie Spies, 3-WP Nel, 2-Clemen Lewis, 1-Janro van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16-Harry Vermaas, 17-Jean Botha, 18-Nico Esterhuyse, 19-Whalied Heyns, 20-Danie van der Merwe, 21-Elgar Watts, 22-Deon Scholtz.Tweet