Powerful outside back Pat Howard has been named in the DHL Western Province No.11 jersey for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the EP Kings at DHL Newlands (kick-off 19h10).
Howard replaces SA Sevens star Seabelo Senatla on the left-wing in one of four changes to the DHL WP team that beat the Vodacom Blue Bulls by 23-18 in a hard-fought encounter in Pretoria last weekend.
Twenty-two-year-old Howard scored DHL Western Province’s first try of the 2014 Absa Currie Cup – when he played virtually the whole match against the EP Kings on August 8, after coming on as a replacement – and he will form a wing partnership with his WP Under-21 teammate from last year, Kobus van Wyk.
Senatla’s absence, due to an ankle injury, is the only injury-enforced change this week, with scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, No.5 lock Ruan Botha (in his first-ever Absa Currie Cup start for WP) and tighthead prop Brok Harris all earning their first starts of 2014 (along with Howard).
WP Under-21 utility back – and SA Sevens star – Justin Geduld has been named on the bench, in what would be his first senior cap, whilst squad vice-captain Pat Cilliers, lock Manuel Carizza and scrumhalf Nic Groom will all start on the bench on Friday.
“The Kings pushed the Lions in Port Elizabeth last weekend and (Lions coach) Johan Ackermann said as much afterwards,” DHL WP coach Allister Coetzee told www.wprugby.com.
“We’re expecting a tough encounter, and we certainly won’t under-estimate the Kings, which is why we’ve kept the changes to a minimum this week.
“Obviously we had to replace Seabelo, but the likes of Brok, Ruan and Louis will all come in with minimal disruption and Justin Geduld’s addition is an exciting one – given that he is able to cover so many positions from the bench.”
Match tickets for Friday are priced from just R35 (for standing), whilst seating prices range between R55, R65, R75 and R95 and can be purchased from http://wprugby.ticketpros.co.za.
Tickets can also be bought directly from the DHL Newlands Box Office (opening times this week: Tuesday-Thursday, 09h00-16h00 and Friday, 09h00-19h30), or from selected Western Cape Spar stores and PostNet branches (nationwide).
The DHL WP team for Friday (v EP Kings, home) is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe 14. Kobus van Wyk 13. Juan de Jongh (captain) 12. Jaco Taute 11. Pat Howard 10. Demetri Catrakilis 9. Louis Schreuder 8. Nizaam Carr 7. Michael Rhodes 6. Siya Kolisi 5. Ruan Botha (First Absa Currie Cup start for DHL Western Province) 4. Jean Kleyn 3. Brok Harris 2. Stephan Coetzee 1. Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16. Neil Rautenbach 17. Pat Cilliers 18. Manuel Carizza 19. Rynhardt Elstadt 20. Nic Groom 21. Kurt Coleman 22. Justin Geduld (On Absa Currie Cup debut for DHL Western Province