Cape Town – Western Province have named lock Methetheleli 'Taz' Fuzani in their Currie Cup rugby team to play the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Saturday.
The Uitenhage-born Fuzani has been in system at WP for a while, and was impressive for the Vodacom Cup team earlier this season.
The 22-year-old was drawn from the ranks of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), where he was coached by former Springbok mentor Peter de Villiers.
He produced several stand-out performances in the Varsity Shield competition and comes into the lock position at the expense of Michael Rhodes, who has moved to flank.
WP head coach Allister Coetzee said Fuzani was chosen specifically for the Bulls match because of his strengths.
“With the Bulls match coming up, it was a good time to look at him, especially because he brings a lot of physicality to the team,” said Coetzee.
“He is a good rugby player and he's been working hard in the squad. It will be a big challenge for him and he knows what role he has to play.”
Lock De Kock Steenkamp will take over the captaincy for the first time after Deon Fourie sustained a rib cage injury which could see him out for two weeks.
“Deon is expected to be out for a couple of weeks with fractured ribs.
“Rhodes comes in for Deon and he has played there in Super Rugby, so it won't be a big adjustment for him. Depending on what happens, he could move back to lock during the game.
“De Kock will lead the side because he knows what the coaching staff wants and he's been well of late. He has lots of support and experience around him.”
Western Province team: Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever, Juan de Jongh, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt Coleman, Louis Schreuder, Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Rynhardt Elstadt, De Kock Steenkamp (captain), Taz Fuzani, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: Michael Willemse, Brok Harris, Gerbrandt Grobler, Rohan Kitshoff, Nic Groom, Gary van Aswegen, Michael van der Spuy. – Sapa