Province and Elephants to kick off Currie Cup season

Western Province and the Mighty Elephants start their Currie Cup 2009 season on Saturday in a Compulsory Friendly at the St George’s in Port Elizabeth.

All teams competing in this season’s Currie Cup will play at least one “friendly” ahead of the what is considered to be South Africa’s domestic premier competition.

The teams to kick start the season will be the Boland Cavaliers who host the Platinum Leopards in Wellington in a Premier Division match on Friday June 5.


The Valke also play hosts to the Griffons in Kempton Park on Saturday July 11 in the opening game of the Currie Cup First Division.

WP coach Allister Coetzee viewed the upcoming Compulsory Friendly match against the Mighty Elephants as an important part ahead of their preparations for the upcoming Currie Cup.

The Cape side selected for the match excluded many Stormers players who represented the Newlands franchise in this season’s Super 14.

Coetzee has opted to field a side with its fare share of youth and inexperience to take on the Eastern Cape hosts with many players such as Jurgens Visser, JJ Engelbrecht and Cameron Peverett set to represent the senior WP team for the first time.

“I am excited about a player like flyhalf Jurgens Visser. He is very big for a flyhalf but he has one hell of a boot and good hands. He is also a good passer of the ball so we are looking to see if he can take control of a backline at this level and he has a good feeling for the game,” said Coetzee.

“Wing JJ Engelbrecht was part of the wider Stormers training group this year and took part in the final trials for the SA Under-20 team.

“He is quick, big and strong so it will be good to see what he can do. We know what we have in our senior players who played Vodacom Super 14 so we would like to see what some of the youngsters can do.”

The Mighty Elephants coach Anthony Heugh, who will be taking charge of the Port Elizabeth side for the first time on Saturday, said he will be using this game to identify possible future team combinations ahead of the Currie Cup First Division which kicks off on July 11.

“This will be my first game in charge of the side and I am really looking to see how the team performs against a side like Western Province,” said Heugh. “We need to get the confidence levels in the side right before the Currie Cup starts.

There are also certain playing combinations within our team that I would like to have a look at before our first Currie Cup game and playing a side like WP will be a great exercise for us.”


Eastern Province – Tiaan Muller, Elcardo Mintoor, Alfonso Pietersen, Clyde Theron, Darryl Halgreen, Ryan Brown, Sinethemba Jack, Michael Vermaak, Ashley Viviers, Elroy Ligman, Trichardt van Tonder, Andries Smit, Dylan Lamprecht, Robert Dyer, Pumlani Nodikida.

Substitutions: Stanley Afrikaner, Jaco Serfontein, Ayanda Nogampula, Sivuyile Kobokana, Marlon Lewis, Deon Booysen, Ryan Janury.

Western Province – Tiger Bax, Tonderai Chavhanga, Juan de Jongh, Morgan Newman, JJ Engelbrecht, Jurgens Visser, Conrad Hoffmann, Cameron Peverett, Zandre Jordaan, Pieter Louw, Martin Muller, De Kock Steenkamp, Brian Mujati, Hanyani Shimange (c), Schalk Ferreira.

Substitutions: Michael De-Neuilly Rice, Wicus Blaauw, Anton van Zyl, Jody Burch, Dewald Duvenage, PJ Vermeulen, Hayden Groepes.

Compulsory Friendly Fixtures:

June 13, Pumas v Sharks, Witbank (15h00) |
June 20, Valke v Griquas, Kempton Park (15h00)
June 26, SWD Eagles v Free S

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