Cape Town – Western Province's gameplan for their clash against Currie Cup log-leaders the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday, has necessitated the return of Louis Schreuder to the scrumhalf position.
“Apart from the rotation policy there was also a tactical aspect to Louis' selection, just as there was when we opted to go with Nic Groom for last week's match against the Golden Lions,” coach Allister Coetzee said on Wednesday.
“I don't want to give away too much but Louis is a guy who can cover space, position himself to receive kicks and he’s also got a good boot on him.”
Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg did not train on Wednesday and he was battling with back spasms.
“I think Tiaan will be fit for Saturday but we'll make a call on Friday when he'll have a work-out at the Captain's Run at Newlands,” Coetzee said.
In recent Currie Cup games, the spotlight had fallen on the match officials but Coetzee would not be drawn on his views on Saturday's referee.
“I'm not here to talk about match officials, except to say that all refs are good,” said Coetzee.
“Craig Joubert is the world's number one referee and what more can two teams expect?
“We are playing against the co-leaders, and it will be the final game for the first round. It will be important that we are accurate in what we do.”
The Sharks have called up Butch James and Tim Whitehead for the match and Coetzee understood the need for the visitors to bring a more experienced team.
“They will bring players who will have the power and physicality to play against Province. The Sharks would have noted we showed good intent with ball in hand last week, so they'll come well prepared.
“It would also seem that the Sharks were not too happy with certain areas of their game against the Blue Bulls last week and that's why they make changes.”
The last time the two sides met was in last year's Currie Cup final at Kings Park Stadium, Durban, which Province won 25-18.
Earlier, Brumbies coach Jake White watched Coetzee put the team through their paces and was also present for Coetzee's media briefing.
“Do you have any questions, Jake?” Coetzee said in jest.
Western Province: Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever, Juan de Jongh, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Louis Schreuder (vice-captain), Nizaam Carr, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie (captain), De Kock Steenkamp, Michael Rhodes, Pat Cilliers, Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff. Substitutes: Scarra Ntubeni, Brok Harris, Gerbrandt Grobler, Rohan Kitshoff, Nic Groom, Gary van Aswegen, Michael van der Spuy. – Sapa