Western Province make six changes for Griquas

Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee has made six changes ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup meeting with GWK Griquas in Kimberley.

Most of the changes have been brought about by injuries – and one is positional – but the return of No.8 Duane Vermeulen is the big news from Cape Town this week.

Vermeulen has been missing since April because of a knee injury and his return sees Jebb Sinclair drop to the bench – in one of the six changes from the side that started in the 23-25 defeat to the Sharks last Saturday.

Nine players made their Currie Cup debuts for WP last week, with just four new players named this week – left-wing Ederies Arendse and flyhalf Kurt Coleman and the two unused replacements from last week, lock Wilhelm van der Sluys and centre/wing Damian de Allende.

There is also a new halfback pairing in the shape of Demetri Catrakilis (flyhalf) and Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf), with the former replacing the injured Burton Francis and the latter rotating with Dewaldt Duvenage.

Duvenage, in fact, gets a total break this week – after a tough playing schedule in 2012 – with Vodacom Cup winner Nic Groom providing scrumhalf cover from the bench.

In a final change to the starting XV, loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff has recovered fully from the knee injury which kept him out of last week’s Sharks match.

“Griquas are at least 20 percent better in Kimberley – it will be a tough game,” warned WP coach Allister Coetzee.

“In the past we’ve had to work very hard for points up there and I don’t expect it to be much different this week. It’s going to be a tough game… we’re under no illusions.”

The Western Province team to take on GWK Griquas is as follows:

15. Gio Aplon,14. Gerhard van den Heever,13. JP du Plessis,12. Marcel Brache (vice-captain),11. Ederies Arendse*,10. Demetri Catrakilis,9. Louis Schreuder,8. Duane Vermeulen,7. Tyrone Holmes,6. Deon Fourie (captain),5. De Kock Steenkamp,4. Don Armand,3. Frans Malherbe,2. Tiaan Liebenberg,1. Steven Kitshoff,

Replacements:16. Siyabonga Ntubeni,17. Brok Harris,18. Wilhelm van der Sluys*,19. Jebb Sinclair,20. Nic Groom,21. Kurt Coleman*,22. Damian de Allende*

* On Currie Cup debut for Western Province.

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