Kolbe on WP bench
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Western Province coach John Dobson has made a number of changes to his team to face the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Friday.
Following their bye week and training camp in Hermanus, Western Province will be looking for their first win of the Currie Cup Premier Division campaign.
There are two new faces amongst the outside backs with Jaco Taute coming in at fullback and Kobus van Wyk replacing the injured Khanyo Ngcukana on the right wing, whilst Olympic Bronze medallist Cheslin Kolbe has returned from Rio and will provide cover on the replacements bench.
In midfield Huw Jones shifts to inside centre in place of Daniel du Plessis who is out with a shoulder injury, with Johnny Kotze coming into the starting line-up at outside centre.
Flyhalf Brandon Thomson will make his first Currie Cup start for Western Province to form a halfback partnership with Jano Vermaak, with Robert du Preez and Godlen Masimla on the replacements bench.
In the forward pack Sikhumbuzo Notshe returns from the Springbok squad to take his place at No.8 in a loose forward combination with Kobus van Dyk and Rynhardt Elstadt.
Jan de Klerk comes in at lock for JD Schickerling who is battling illness to pair up with captain Chris van Zyl in the second row, whilst the only front row change comes on the replacements bench with JC Janse van Rensburg coming in for Oliver Kebble who is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Dobson said that following their bye week, his team will have to raise their standards considerably to earn a vital win against the Cheetahs.
"The players have worked hard this week, and we know that we are in for a serious test against a Free State Cheetahs side that has won both of their games this season convincingly.
"We will have to raise our standards, but we are confident that we can get the result we are looking for at Newlands if we execute our plans," he said.
Western Province: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.
Date: Friday, August 19
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.10 (15.10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Paul Mente
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans