One Change To WP Starting XV

Head coach John Dobson has not tampered too much with the team that did duty in Durban last weekend, as Western Province prepare to host the in-form Blue Bulls in Currie Cup action at Newlands on Friday night (kick-off 19:00).  The only change to the starting line-up sees Bongi Mbonambi start at hooker, with Scarra Ntubeni moving down to the replacements’ bench where he will be joined by fit-again eighthman Nizaam Carr, who replaces Jurie Van Vuuren.  Carr, who took over the captaincy earlier this season from injured squad leader Juan De Jongh, missed the Sharks game with a hamstring injury and will, wisely, be blooded back via the bench this week.

Scrumhalf Nic Groom will again lead WP into battle, as he did last week, with young Robert Du Preez making his second successive start in the number 10 jersey after his impressive display last week as a late replacement for Kurt Coleman.  Province boss Dobson says:  ‘We’re fortunate to have Nizaam coming off the bench, from a leadership point of view, after Nic led the team well last week.  Kurt is obviously still out, but Robert did nicely last week and it’s a great opportunity for him to start his first Absa Currie Cup match at DHL Newlands.  Bongi, meanwhile, is deserved of a start against his old team – in a rotational switch – and we’re looking to Scarra to provide a similar impact (to Bongi’s) off the bench this week.’

Match tickets are still available for Friday’s three provincial North-South clashes at Newlands.  Starting at just R20 for standing room, with seats ranging between R30, R35, R40 and R50 for ALL THREE GAMES, tickets can be bought at Computicket – either online (see our ticketing page, http://wprugby.computicket.com) or in-store – and also from Shoprite/Checkers stores and the Newlands Box Office.  Dobson says:  ‘We’re looking forward to this weekend, as we have a bit of momentum after the last time when we ran into a red-hot Bulls team.  We’ve been asked about revenge and putting one over the Bulls, after last time, but it’s not about that.  For us, rather, it’s about building on what we’ve achieved over the past two weeks and continuing on the path that we’ve followed in terms of our team’s evolution.’  

The Western Province team for Friday (v Blue Bulls, home) is as follows:

15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Dillyn Leyds
13. Johnny Kotze
12. Huw Jones
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. Robert Du Preez
9. Nic Groom (captain)
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
7. Rynhardt Elstadt
6. Chris Cloete
5. Ruan Botha
4. Jean Kleyn
3. Wilco Louw
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements:
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Oli Kebble
18. Chris Van Zyl
19. Nizaam Carr
20. Jano Vermaak
21. Demetri Catrakilis
22. Kobus Van Wyk