Robert du Preez will make his first league appearance for the DHL Western Province Under-21 team when he starts in the No.10 jersey against the Leopards Under-21s at City Park on Saturday (kick-off 15h30).
The highly-rated Du Preez missed his team’s hard-fought 20-17 Absa Provincial Under-21 win over Free State last Saturday but his selection is one of four changes to the starting line-up this week.
Janco Gunter drops to the bench to make way for Du Preez at flyhalf, whilst coach John Dobson has changed his entire front row – one of those switches being down to injury.
Big tighthead prop Entienne Swanepoel (knee) has been ruled out for the rest of the season, but that news has been tempered somewhat with the return of Sti Sithole from Super Rugby duty and the return to fitness of Deacon Chowles.
Sithole will start at loosehead prop, with Chad Solomon coming in at hooker this week and John Meyer taking over from Swanepoel at tighthead. Chowles and Wesley Adonis, the latter having started at loosehead last week, will warm the bench along with squad vice-captain and hooker Freddie Kirsten.
“Losing Entienne, a tighthead prop with a bright future, is a blow for us,” admitted Dobson.
“It was always our intention to give Chad a run at hooker this week, he needs some game time, whilst Sti will be hungry to play too after his brief appearances for the DHL Stormers.
“Freddie is one of our leaders and will have a role to play and Wesley started last week, so he will be raring to go from the bench. At the same Moncler Damen time, having Deacon back is also positive and will help make up for the loss of Entienne.”
The WP Under-21s were made to fight for moncleronline their season-opening win last weekend and Dobson is expecting a big improvement from his team at City Park this Saturday.
“We got our five points, which is pleasing as you could easily play very well and (yet) not be rewarded with four tries,” the DHL Western Province Under-21 coach told www.wprugby.com.
“We lacked a bit of rhythm in our overall game (and the performance itself), but it’s nice to start with a victory and then being able to build from there.
* The entry free on Saturday will be R10 for adults and R5 for children – giving supporters access to both matches (Under-19s and Under-21s). City Park is based on the corner of Thornton and Lawson Roads in Crawford and easily accessible from the M5 and N2 freeways.
The DHL WP Under-21 team for Saturday (v Leopards) is as follows:
15. Huw Jones
14. JP Lewis
13. Johnny Kotze
12. Kyle Lombard
11. Lihleli Xoli
10. Robert du Preez
9. Jean Nel
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
7. Jacques Vermeulen
6. Eital Bredenkamp (captain)
5. Jean Kleyn
4. JD Schickerling
3. John Meyer
2. Chad Solomon
1. Sti Sithole
16. Freddie Kirsten
17. Deacon Chowles
18. Wesley Adonis
19. Carel du Preez
20. Tapiwa Tsomondo
21. Jason Marcus
22. Janco Gunter
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza