Boland coach Deon Davids is confident that his team will be able to face up to the challenge of competing against two ‘big’ teams in one week.
Rugby 365 reports that Boland face Saracens on Wednesday and then the Stormers just a few days later in Wellington on Saturday.
The Wellington outfit has been boosted by the return of veteran hooker and captain Conrad Burke, but he will lead a very inexperienced side against Eddie Jones’ Saracens.
Except for Burke, centre Dewey Swartbooi, wings Alvin Hugo and Luvo Sogidashe, as well as locks Nico Esterhuyse and Frikkie Spies are the only recognised players in the Boland side.
Sogidashe will make his first appearance for the Cavaliers after representing Eastern Province and the Falcons the last couple of seasons.
Davids has also surprised by selecting Andre du Toit on the flank, despite breaking his nose against the University of Cape Town a week ago.
While this week provides a major challenge for the small union, Davids stressed that it is also a great opportunity for some of the younger fringe players.
“Everybody knows that it is difficult for us to put together two strong squads for these two big games,” Davids told rugby365.com ahead of the Saracens clash.
“We just don’t have the depth to do it in one week.
“But, at the same time, this is also a great opportunity for our younger players to really put their hands up for the upcoming season.”
Davids expects a tough physical onslaught from the English club after witnessing their style of play last Saturday at Newlands against the Stormers.
“I was at Newlands last week and it looks like they have a very forward-orientated gameplan,” Davids revealed.
“I was particularly impressed with their set-pieces..
“They did not lose a single ball in the line-out which says a lot if you consider an opposition jumper like Andries Bekker.”
Boland: 15 Donovan Smith, 14 Alvin Hugo, 13 Godwin Damon, 12 Dewey Swartbooi, 11 Luvo Sogidashe, 10 Jacquin Jansen, 9 Juwell Samuels, 8 Junior Bester, 7 Andre du Toit, 6 Garth Faro, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Ivan Espag, 2 Conrad Burke (c), 1 Christo McNish.
Substitutes – from: Pieter Bruynhardt, Tros Botha, Smit Janse van Rensburg, Quinton de Bruyn, Denzil Willemse, Emile Smith, Lionel Corneliüs, Wendal Wehr, Marcell du Preez, Hendrik van Niekerk.
Date: Wednesday January 28
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 17.30 (15.30 GMT)
Referee: François Veldsman