Head coach John Dobson has not tampered too much with the team that did duty in Durban last weekend, as DHL Western Province prepare to host the in-form Vodacom Blue Bulls in Absa Currie Cup action at DHL Newlands on Friday night (kick-off 19h00).
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 No.8 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 DHL WP into battle, as he did last week, with young Robert du Preez making his second successive start in the No.10 jersey after his impressive display last week as a late replacement for Kurt Coleman.
DHL WP boss Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website: “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 DHL Newlands.
Starting at just R20 for standing room, with seats ranging between R30, R35, R40 and R50, tickets for ALL THREE GAMES 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 DHL Newlands Box Office.
Said Dobson: “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 2015 Rugby World Cup gets underway in the United Kingdom on Friday evening, with the opening match taking place between hosts England and Fiji at 21h00 (SA time). The DHL Newlands stadium bar, the 100s Bar, will remain open after Friday’s main match for fans to take in the RWC action!
The DHL Western Province team for Friday (v Vodacom 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
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Oli Kebble
18. Chris van Zyl
19. Nizaam Carr
20. Jano Vermaak
21. Demetri Catrakilis
22. Kobus van Wyk
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge