Western Province head coach John Dobson has made just one change to his starting XV for Friday’s clash with the Blue Bulls at Newlands.
The only change to the run-on side, that beat the Sharks in Durban last weekend, sees Bongi Mbonambi starting at hooker, with Scarra Ntubeni moving down to the replacements bench where he will be joined by fit-again back-row Nizaam Carr.
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.
Scrum-half Nic Groom will again lead WP into battle, as he did last week, with young Robert du Preez making his second successive start in the number 10 jersey after his impressive display last week as a late replacement for Kurt Coleman.
“We’re fortunate to have Nizaam coming off the bench, from a leadership point of view, after Nic led the team well last week,” said Dobson.
“Kurt is obviously still out, but Robert did nicely last week and it’s a great opportunity for him to start his first Currie Cup match at 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.”
Western Province: 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.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk
Date: Friday, September 18
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge