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WP change one for Cheetahs

Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:07
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Ton up for Brok
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Western Province have made just one change for Saturday's Currie Cup Round Two encounter with the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands.

Michael Rhodes starts in the No.4 jersey, with youngster Gerbrandt Grobler dropping down to the bench after making his Currie Cup debut in WP's 24-all draw against the Blue Bulls last Saturday.

Grobler will join fit-again hooker Tiaan Liebenberg amongst the replacements, whilst uncapped Maties utility back Ryan Nell replaces Berton Klaasen on the bench as one of WP's three back reserves.

“Michael unfortunately got injured in the third game for the Stormers this campaign and has worked hard to get back to fitness. We’re hoping he’s going to bring some bulk back into the pack and has a specific role to play for us this weekend. Gerbrandt played pretty well at the weekend but he’ll play an impact role off the bench,” said Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck.

“At the weekend Berton was covering just 12 for us whereas Ryan brings versatility to our set-up. He’s going to be able to cover wing and centre for us as he played 12 and 13 for Stellenbosch in the Varsity Cup this year and for us in the past at Under-21 level he’s played wing and fullback.

“There was a bit of a disruption shifting Pat Howard to the wing and putting Berton in at 12, it’s too many changes for us, where Ryan covers most positions, which allows us to keep Damain [de Allende] at 12 and not disrupt the backline too much,” he added.

Tighthead prop Brok Harris will play his 100th match for Western Province, having made his debut for the union back in 2006.

During that time, the hard-working front row forward has also amassed 84 Super Rugby appearances for the Stormers.

Fleck paid tribute to the 28-year-old prop, saying: "Brok has been a stalwart for Western Province and the Stormers and reaching the 100-game mark is just reward for a very popular team man.

"The team would like nothing more than rewarding Brok with a victory, but we also want to right the wrongs from last week.

"We need to cut down our errors and improve our discipline, otherwise Free State will make life very uncomfortable for us on Saturday."

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Ryan Nell.

Date: Saturday, August 17
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.15 (17.15 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Marc van Zyl Marc
TMO: Deon van Blommestein

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