W.Province throw their Boks into Currie Cup

Jean de Villiers will captain a Springbok-filled Western Province line-up in the team’s Currie Cup rugby match against the Pumas at Newlands on Saturday.


The midfielder is one of six returning Boks snapped up for the 22-man match-day squad by Province head coach Allister Coetzee.


Schalk Burger and Jaque Fourie will start on the substitutes bench.


“Juan (De Jongh) only played one match at the World Cup in New Zealand and that’s why I decided to rest Jaque,” said Coetzee on Thursday.


“I feel Jaque will do well off the bench, and besides not many of the youngsters in the team have played with him in the past.


“I’m using Burger as an impact player and when he does come on, I have an option with flanker Pieter Louw who can play at six, seven or eight as required.


“Gio (Aplon) will start at fullback and he’s there because of the way we plan to play.


“The great thing about the Boks is that none of them are carrying niggles, and all of them are running flat out. None of them have strapping and none of them needed ice treatment at Wednesday’s training.


“In the absence of the Boks I must say that the young players learnt many lessons and they were outstanding when the team were hit hard by repeated injury setbacks. They all showed great fighting spirit and that’s not something one can coach.


“I’m glad that we can field this team now because it gives all of them a chance to know each other ahead of the play-off matches. I like the situation in the backline where Demetri (Catrakalis) will have four Boks alongside him, and I’m sure his game will benefit a great deal.”


Province will be without their kingpin, scrumhalf Dewalt Duvenage, who underwent an operation on his toe on Tuesday.


“Dewaldt tore a muscle in his toe and it needed an operation,” said Coetzee.


“Even with the Boks back, his absence is a blow to our side because for the past few weeks he’s been the soul of the team. He played an incredible leadership role in an inexperienced side and was the only senior guy along with Conrad Jantjes in the backline. He proved to be an outstanding goalkicker when he was called upon, so he’s worth a great deal to this team.”


Lock De Kock Steenkamp is down with a stomach complaint and will sit out this week’s action.


He will be in the selection mix week next when a likely semifinal against the Lions in Johannesburg is looming. In his absence, Adriaan Fondse will make the calls at line-out time.


Western Province:


Gio Aplon, JJ Engelbrecht, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Demetri Catrakalis, Nick Groom, Nick Koster, Siya Kolisi, Pieter Louw, Adriaan Fondse, Hilton Lobberts, Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, JC Kritzinger.


Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Frans Malherbe, Tertius Danilier, Schalk Burger, Louis Schreuder, Jaque Fourie, Conrad Jantjes.

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