This weekend sees another huge north v south derby when Province host the Blue Bulls at Newlands
The Blue Bulls Super Rugby side is coming off a very successful Super Rugby campaign and will want the mix of experience players and young guns to gel quickly in the Currie Cup.
They have some big names in the team who will be led by Burger Odendaal this Currie Cup season, and you do not get much bigger than the name of Lood De Jager.
The Springbok is in a fight to proof that he is ready for Rassie Erasmus Springbok squad later this year to go to the World Cup in Japan and that is good news for the Blue Bulls who will need his experience and presence as they take on Western Province.
De Jager last played in February and will may be a bit rusty with game time but he will bring the fire we normally see from the skillful lock.
There are plenty of Super Rugby players in the team for this weekend which is going to be a difficult one for Province even if they are at home.
With the likes of Cornal Hendricks, Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok and Embrose Papier the Blue Bulls have plenty of qaulity in the backs.
Human said they are expecting a massive match against their Cape Town opponents.
“What a way to start this competition – against Province in Cape Town. It does not come tougher than this,” Human said.
Vodacom Blue Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, said they will need to make every opportunity count.
“With only one round in this year’s competition, we need to take every chance that comes our way. I expect this year’s Currie Cup to be very, very competitive and every result will be crucial. We need to start well and keep up the pressure in order to have a chance this weekend,” Odendaal said.
Province will start with Jean-Luc Du Plessis at ten as he makes his debut for Province in the Currie Cup with Edwill van der Merwe on the wing.
Justin Phillips will be Du Plessis halfback partner with Dan Kriel and Ruhan Nell in the midfield.
On the other wing see Senatla doing duty with SP Marias at fullback.
In the front row we see Corne Fourie with Ntubeni at hooker and and Wilco Louw on the other side of the front row.
Carlu Sadie will start from the bench as cover.
DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that given the single-round format of the Currie Cup, it is vital that his team make a strong start this weekend.
“We start the Currie Cup with a North-South derby at DHL Newlands, so it is obviously something that everyone is looking forward to.
“We have had a good pre-season and the focus is on making sure we can deliver from the word go this season,” he said.
This is going to be close a big one so do not miss it.
DHL Western Province: 15 SP Marais, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Craig Barry.
Vodacom Blue Bulls: Divan Rossouw, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal (c), Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Embrose Papier, Tim Agaba, Wian Vosloo, Ruan Steenkamp, Lood de Jager, Ruan Nortjie, Wiehahn Herbst, Jaco Visagie, Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar, Matthys Basson, Conraad van Vuuren, Jean Droste, Roelof Smit, Ivan van Zyl, Marnitz Boshoff, Dylan Sage.