One Change For Western Province Against Blue Bulls

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made just one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Currie Cup meeting with the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Newlands (kick-off 14:05).  The only change to the WP line-up sees Stephan Coetzee named in the Number 2 jersey, in his first start at this level, with the injured Tiaan Liebenberg (back) dropping out this week.  Fellow hooker Scarra Ntubeni suffered an injury setback at training on Tuesday, meaning that UCT Varsity Cup star Neil Rautenbach gets a chance on the bench – on debut – as back-up to Coetzee.

Ntubeni tweaked his calf muscle at training and will be out for a minimum of 14 days.  While coach Coetzee has wisely not tampered too much with his starting team this week, there are plenty of new faces on the bench as Brok Harris, Ruan Botha, Rynhardt Elstadt, Kurt Coleman and Jaco Taute all return.  Prop Harris (shoulder), lock Botha (ankle), flank Elstadt (shoulder) and flyhalf Coleman (knee) are all back from injury, while centre/fullback Taute is back from compassionate leave to give the home side a powerful bench with plenty of options.

Coetzee told the Western Province website, “Selection was incredibly tough this week, but, thankfully (and mostly), for all the good reasons!  Like I said earlier this week, we needed to marry continuity with players coming back and I am comfortable with the selections we have made this week and I have full confidence in each and every player in the team.”  Province opened their 2014 Absa Currie Cup campaign with a bonus-point win against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last Friday, while the Blue Bulls went down by 13-41 to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.  “What happened last week matters for nothing, for both us and the Bulls.  There is no such thing as a weak Blue Bulls side and you only have to think back to last year’s Absa Currie Cup encounter between our two teams when a young Bulls team was a conversion away from beating us.  We’re preparing for a tough encounter against the Bulls, as always, and we’re certainly determined to give a good account of ourselves in front of our home fans at DHL Newlands.”

Tickets are priced from just R35 (for standing), while seating prices range between R55, R65, R75 and R95 and can be purchased right now from  Match tickets can also be bought directly from the Newlands Box Office (opening times this week: Tuesday-Friday, 09h00-16h00 and Saturday, 09h00-14h30), or from selected Western Cape Spar stores and PostNet branches (nationwide).

The WP team for Saturday (v the Blue Bulls) is as follows:

15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Kobus Van Wyk
13. Juan De Jongh (captain)
12. Michael Van Der Spuy
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Nizaam Carr
7. Michael Rhodes
6. Siya Kolisi
5. Manuel Carizza
4. Jean Kleyn 
3. Pat Cilliers (vice-captain)
2. Stephan Coetzee (First Currie Cup start for Western Province)
1. Alistair Vermaak

16. Neil Rautenbach (On Currie Cup debut for Western Province)
17. Brok Harris
18. Ruan Botha
19. Rynhardt Elstadt
20. Louis Schreuder
21. Kurt Coleman
22. Jaco Taute