Following their surprise first round defeat to the Sharks at Newlands last weekend, Western Province have been forced to make a few changes to their team to face Griquas in Kimberley this Saturday.
The good news for the Cape based side is that Duane Vermeulen is in the starting line-up, starting in the familiar eight jersey. This after a lengthy spell out of the game, following a knee injury during Super Rugby.
The bad news is that stalwarts Joe Pietersen, Dewaldt Duvenhage and to a lesser extent Burton Francis, are missing from the team following injuries and rotation on the part of Duvenhage, who is missing from the match 22 altogether to take a much needed break after a long season.
Gio Aplon shifts into the fullback role, with Ederies Arendse making his Currie Cup debut on the wing. Duvenhage’s place is taken by Louis Schreuder, while Nic Groom comes onto the bench. Demetri Catrakilis will take over from Francis at flyhalf.
Amongst the forwards, Vermeulen’s return sees Jebb Sinclair dropping to the bench, while ginger ninja Steven Kitshoff returns to bolster the front row.
The bench could see a few more debuts, should the players be used, as Wilhelm van der Sluys, Kurt Coleman and Damian de Allende could make first starts.
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache (vice-captain), 11 Ederies Arendse*, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys*, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman*, 22 Damian de Allende*Tweet