Coach John Dobson has made a few adjustments to the DHL Western Province team for Saturday’s clash against Namibia at the Dr Hage Geingob Stadium (kick-off 14h00 – local time).
DHL WP beat the Kenyan national team by 32-28 in Nairobi last weekend and will now head to Windhoek to face the Namibian national side on their own turf.
Dobson told www.wprugby.com: “We had a lovely time in Kenya and were well looked after by our hosts for our entire stay.
“The guys showed a lot of character to pull through against the Simba XV, but I wasn’t overly satisfied with our performance. After an interesting and fun trip to Kenya, the focus this week is entirely on the game and we have identified some areas to improve – most notably our breakdown.”
The big changes to the Province line-up this week see Gary van Aswegen start at inside centre, newbie Tapiwa Tsomondo starting in the No.6 shirt, Ian Groenewald coming in at lock and hooker Neil Rautenbach replacing Stephan Coetzee in the No.2 jersey.
The new faces on the bench for the trip to Windhoek are back-up hooker Freddie Kirsten and inside centre Kyle Lombard.
Speaking about the changes, Dobson added: “We’re particularly excited about the selection of (flanker) Tapiwa Tsomondo, who is still Under-21.
“Tapiwa is a product of our excellent amateur scouting system and he came to our attention via the DHL WP Under-21 trials which were recently held. He is raw, but an exciting prospect and we’re relishing the chance to work him and help him develop even more.
“He will play as our fetcher this week, but he also has excellent ball-carrying abilities and we look forward to seeing how he fares against someone like Rohan Kitshoff – whom, of course, we know very well at WP. As I said, the breakdown is an area we need to improve on and Tapiwa will have a role to play there.
“Gary van Aswegen (also) comes into the starting team (at inside centre) this week and will take over the captaincy from Rayn Smid too,” explained the DHL WP coach.
“Flyhalf and inside centre are interchangeable positions and Gary and Robert will take the pressure off each other in that crucial channel and add to our playmaking abilities.”
* Saturday’s match will get underway at 14h00 Windhoek time, which is 13h00 SA time. WP Rugby will carry score updates on Facebook and Twitter and a match report on www.wprugby.com later on.
Namibia will also take on the Bulls (on Saturday, June 21), before turning their attention to the Confederation of African Rugby Division 1A championships in Madagascar (ostensibly a RWC 2015 qualifying tournament), featuring the likes of Kenya, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
The DHL Western Province team to take on Namibia is as follows:
15. EW Viljoen
14. JP Lewis
13. Pat Howard
12. Gary van Aswegen (captain)
11. Devon Williams
10. Robert du Preez
9. Dylon Frylinck
8. Rayn Smid (vice-captain)
7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
6. Tapiwa Tsomondo
5. Jean Kleyn
4. Ian Groenewald
3. Justin Ackerman
2. Neil Rautenbach
1. Sti Sithole
16. Freddie Kirsten
17. Digby Webb
18. Jan Uys
19. Carel du Preez
20. Ruan Vermaak
21. Freddie Muller
22. Kyle Lombard
23. Craig Barry