Botha gets WP start

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Copy of iol spt sep1 coetzee Gallo Images Allister Coetzee

Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee says his charges need to match the Sharks' physically if they want beat them in their Currie Cup match in Durban on Saturday.

The current Currie Cup log-leaders have had several defeats against the Sharks in recent years, and Coetzee conceded that they had one over his side.

“When I reflect on past performances I realise that we need to do things better although I can't pinpoint exactly what it is,” Coetzee said at the team announcement on Wednesday.

“I do know we have to match them in physicality and in that regard they are second to none. They play with a big solid pack.”

Coetzee has made only one injury-enforced change to his starting XV with Tyrone Holmes replacing injured flank Rynhardt Elstadt.

The Springboks have called up tighthead prop Frans Malherbe, with Tom Botha replacing him on the bench.

Coetzee said losing Malherbe was a setback for the team but a career-boosting move for the player.

“Every young player wants to play for the Springboks and at the age of 21 years it is coming so early in his career,” said Coetzee.

“I'm happy for Frans and WP are happy that they are producing Springboks.

“It's unbelievable what Springbok selection does for a player and his confidence will be sky high.

“Even if he does not get to play against the All Blacks on Saturday, he'll be a much better player when he returns.

“As for Tom, he's a fine prospect and has been a leading player in a very successful WP Vodacom Cup team.

“He's shown that he's ready to make the step up.”

Fullback Joe Pietersen who was a consistent performer for the Stormers earlier this year is back in action after a three-week absence.

Coetzee has decided to start him off the bench for the sake of selection continuity.

“It was a difficult decision to make and it was a case of weighing up the matter of continuity against reputation,” said Coetzee.

“Joe will know that the guys who played in his place have been playing well, and a coach does not change a winning team easily.

“He'll accept that he needs to wait for a chance to consolidate his place in the team again.”

Western Province team: Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever, JP du Plessis, Marcel Brache, Damian de Allende, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom, Jebb Sinclair, Tyrone Holmes, Deon Fourie (captain), De Kock Steenkamp, Don Armand, Brok Harris, Scarra Ntubeni, Deon Carstens. Replacements: Steven Kitshoff, Tom Botha, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Helmut Lehmann, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Joe Pietersen. - Sapa



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