Allister Coetzee has named four Springboks in his starting line-up and opted to pick Jean de Villiers on the bench. Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash, the final match of the league phase of the 2013 Currie Cup competition, Coetzee told the WP Rugby website: “We have selected our best available team, taking into account the well-being of someone like Jean de Villiers, and we’re looking forward to facing the Sharks.”
WP have won seven matches so far this season and drawn two, which sees them top the log by one point over the second-placed Sharks, who have tasted defeat twice this season.
“There is always something at stake when you represent Western Province,” said Coetzee, “(and) we will be doing our best to pick up a win and finish the league phase of the Currie Cup unbeaten.”
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Schalk Burger, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Jean de Villiers
The Sharks went the same way as Province by getting their Springboks straight into the game. According to Sharks website Editor Michael Marnewick, WP’s five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just a one point buffer separating the teams.
Both teams have secured home semi-finals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday’s match with the winner claiming top spot for the knock-out rounds and the best possible opportunity of hosting the final.
The Sharks starting line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee, with Pat Lambie named on the bench while he acclimatises himself to the Sharks way of playing.
15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Patrick Lambie, 22. Louis Ludik
The Cheetahs have pick an all-Springbok front row for their clash with the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein. Hooker Adriaan Strauss and prop Coenie Oosthuizen return from national duty to join Trevor Nyakane in the front row. Strauss also takes over the captaincy from Boom Prinsloo, who moves from No 8 to the side of the scrum.
The Blue Bulls have strengthen their midfield with their two returning Springboks. Springboks JJ Engelbrecht and Jan Serfontein in his backline and promoted loose forward Jacques Engelbrecht to his starting pack. The Bok midfield duo will play for the Blue Bulls for the first time this season and will replace William Small-Smith and Francois Venter respectively.
Engelbrecht’s inclusion at No 8, only his second start in seven matches, prompted a reshuffle to the loose trio. Regular No 8, Jono Ross, moves to the side of the scrum, with Wiaan Liebenberg released to captain the Under-21 side.
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Freddy Ngoza,20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Piet Lindeque, 22 Willie du Plessis
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross (captain), 5 David Bullbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Francois Venter, 22 Clayton Blommetjies