De Kock leads WP into Bulls' kraal
De Kock leads WP into Bulls' kraalSHARE
Lock De Kock Steenkamp will captain Western Province in Saturday's Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Steenkamp takes over the captaincy from injured flank Deon Fourie (ribs), with Michael Rhodes shifting to the back row in one of just two changes to the WP line-up this week.
The other change to the WP team sees Mthetheleli Fuzani take over the No.4 jersey from Rhodes – who will pack down at No.7, with Rynhardt Elstadt in jersey No.6.
Fuzani, who is 22 years old, played six matches for WP during the 2013 Vodacom Cup competition after first coming to prominence for UWC in the Varsity Shield tournament.
The powerful lock will make his Currie Cup debut in Pretoria on Saturday, having earned his chance via WP's club identification programme.
WP remain unbeaten in the 2013 Currie Cup, with three wins and two draws during the first half of the season.
They are currently on top of the log with 16 points, just one point ahead of the second-placed Sharks, and WP coach Allister Coetzee is preparing his team for a tough second round of matches which includes three away fixtures.
"We have a winning culture and I'm pleased with that. Whether we get the bonus point or not, there's a belief to never give up and lose games," Coetzee said.
"I'm pleased with where we are after the first round. We had two draws and three wins but this competition is far from over. It's so close, so we have to make sure we put the foot on the accelerator in the second half [of the season]."
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 De Kock Steenkamp (captain), 4 Mthetheleli Fuzani, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Michael van der Spuy.
Date: Saturday, September 14
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Sieg van Staden
TMO: Johan Greeff