Willemse to make WP debut
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flyhalf Damian Willemse will make his Western Province debut in the Currie Cup encounter against the Pumas at Newlands on Saturday.
There have been several changes to the Western Province team, for the clash on Saturday, with a number of players back in the selection mix.
Fullback Sarel Marais will have Seabelo Senatla and Dillyn Leyds on either side of him, while EW Viljoen and Dan Kriel will link up in midfield with Michal Hazner providing cover on the replacements bench.
Justin Phillips will partner Willemse at halfback, with the experienced Jano Vermaak set to make an impact in the second half.
In the loose trio Nizaam Carr replaces the injured Sikhumbuzo Notshe at No.8, with Stephan de Wit and Kobus van Dyk starting on the flanks and Johan du Toit and Jaco Coetzee among the replacements.
With the lock pairing of JD Schickerling and captain Chris van Zyl retained, the only other changes come in the front row where Alistair Vermaak is joined by hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi and Frans van Wyk, while Jacobus Janse van Rensburg and Currie Cup debutant Michael Kumbirai will be alongside Siyabonga Ntubeni on the replacements bench.
Western Province head coach John Dobson said that his team is looking forward to making the most of home advantage in their first game at Newlands this season.
"We welcome a number of talented players into the fold this week and everyone is excited by the prospect of playing at Newlands.
"There has been a lot of hard work put in on the training pitch this week, so hopefully that reflects in our performance," he said.
Western Province: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 JD Shickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Michal Hazner.
Date: Saturday, August 5
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 13.00 (11.00 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Kwezi Mqomboti
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans