at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg – Ederies Arendse has been drawn from the ranks of club rugby in Cape Town to play for Western Province against GWK Griquas in a Currie Cup match in Kimberley, on Saturday.
The 22-year-old left-wing has been on the local radar for some time after he played for the Stormers in pre-season warm-up games and will fill the void left by Gio Aplon, who has moved to fullback.
“Arendse's inclusion in the Currie Cup will be an eye-opener for other players, who will see that it is possible to graduate from club to Western Province,” said coach Allister Coetzee at the team announcement in Bellville on Tuesday.
“I'm happy with the way Ederies has slotted in at training and he's good at finishing. Hopefully he'll have enough opportunities to finish. He's a willing player.
“It is a concern that in a short time we need to get a club player ready for the professional ranks. Last year we blooded 12 youngsters in the Currie Cup and after just two weeks this year, we've already fielded five.”
As expected, Duane Vermeulen makes a long-awaited return, although Coetzee does not know how long he'll be on the field because of match fitness concerns.
“I'll be advised by the medical team, who will tell me how long Duane will play in this match,” said Coetzee.
“My guess is that we'll play anything between 30 minutes and one half (40 minutes) but he won't play the full 80 minutes.
“Duane will be good at the base of the scrum and he excels at line-out contesting.”
In the absence of injured flyhalf Burton Francis, Province has opted for Demetri Catrakilis, known for his reliable place-kicking, ahead of Kurt Coleman.
“Demetri is a prolific goal-kicker and since Joe Petersen is out, the team does not have a place-kicker,” said Coetzee.
“Demetri has a high success rate (as a place-kicker), but I'm happy to have both of them in Saturday's squad and Coleman will provide cover.”
Province will field an untried, at least at Currie Cup level, halfback pairing in Catrakilis and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, who has replaced Dewaldt Duvenage.
“Dewaldt has played 18 games (for Stormers and WP) on the trot and it's time that he gets a chance to rest,” said Coetzee.
“It (scrumhalf) is one of the few positions in which we can rotate. We'll see how it goes and what Nic Groom brings when he plays off the (substitutes' bench).
“Schreuder and Catrakilis have played together at Vodacom Cup level.” – Sapa