The DHL Western Province team has been announced for Saturday’s 2014 Vodacom Cup, Round Two clash against the Sharks XV at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban (14h40).
Both teams will head into this Round Two encounter as winners from last weekend, DHL WP having beaten the Boland Cavaliers by 16-8 in a hard-fought match at City Park and the Sharks having beaten Border by 46 points to 24.
However, DHL WP have been forced to make a few changes since Saturday, with scrumhalf Godlen Masimla picking up a serious wrist injury and reserve prop Os Hamman suffered a season-ending leg injury.
Hooker Stephan Coetzee is also not available (for the next three weeks at least), having joined the DHL Stormers squad in New Zealand, forcing coach John Dobson to make two enforced changes to his starting XV and a few minor adjustments on the bench.
Dylon Frylinck, a member of last year’s Emerging WP team, will start at scrumhalf, whilst Eital Bredenkamp – an Under-19 and Under-21 cup winner – will make his first senior start at hooker.
Hooker Chad Solomon, prop Christo ‘Tiny’ van Wyk, scrumhalf Gerhard Jordaan and outside back Adrian Roberts all join the bench this week, as centre/wing Pat Howard remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and utility back Ryno Eksteen (knee) is also unavailable because of injury.
“I was very sad about the serious injuries to (prop) Os Hamman and Godlen (Masimla), who was simply outstanding and our Man of the Match against Boland,” Dobson told www.wprugby.com.
“But we were pleased with the performance of Eital Bredenkamp in his continued conversion to hooker, which has been fast-tracked a bit this week with Stephan Coetzee’s call-up to the DHL Stormers.
“I was also pleased with the real commitment shown by the Likes of Gary van Aswegen and Mikey van der Spuy who may have been disappointed not to be in New Zealand. I think our two 19-year-old locks – in Jan Uys and JD Schickerling – stood up well in the second half.
“I was, on the whole, pleased with that second half against Boland – I thought we showed both some character and respect for the ball against a fired up Boland team in tricky (windy) conditions.”
Looking ahead to this week, Dobson added: “With all respect to a good Boland team, this week – against the Sharks – is probably our hardest game and it’s far from ideal to have the considerable disruptions we have.
“To lose a scrumhalf, a hooker and a prop is considerable, as well as being limited in who we can call on, especially as we see our three universities hit the sharp-end of their respective competitions.
“But we have a focused, motivated and excited young team who are looking forward to playing at Kings Park in what seems like ideal conditions if a little hot. It’s going to be a magic game and we cannot wait.”
The DHL Western Province team for Saturday (v Sharks XV) is as follows:
15. Tiger Bax
14. JP Lewis
13. Johnny Kotze
12. Michael van der Spuy
11. Devon Williams
10. Gary van Aswegen
9. Dylon Frylinck
8. Rayn Smid
7. Sikhumbuzo Nothse
6. Rohan Kitshoff (captain)
5. Jan Uys
4. Tazz Fuzani
3. Entienne Swanepoel
2. Eital Bredenkamp
1. Alistair Vermaak
16. Chad Solomon
17. Christo van Wyk
18. Carel du Preez
19. Reuben Johannes
20. Gerhard Jordaan
21. Kyle Lombard
22. Adrian Roberts
Referee: Jaco van Heerden