Johannesburg – Nine players will make their Currie Cup debuts for Western Province (WP) when they take on the Sharks in a first-round rugby fixture at Newlands on Saturday evening.
Deon Fourie, who starts at flank, was confirmed on Wednesday as captain of WP during this year's Currie Cup season and will have a host of youngsters around him come the weekend.
Backs Gerhard van den Heever, JP du Plessis and Burton Francis all played in the Super Rugby tournament for the Stormers this year, but will make their debuts for WP in the Currie Cup this weekend, along with forwards Jebb Sinclair, Don Armand, Tyrone Holmes and Deon Carstens.
Thirteen members of the WP matchday squad faced up to the Sharks in their recent Super Rugby clash at Newlands, while eight players represented the victorious Vodacom Cup side at some point this year.
“It's important to get off to a good start in the competition, irrespective of who you play 1/8for 3/8 and home games are of particular importance too,” said WP coach Allister Coetzee.
“We won 14 from 17 (in the Super Rugby season) which shows that there is not a lot wrong and we will definitely not try and re-invent the wheel during the Currie Cup season.”
WP team: Joe Pietersen, Gerhard van den Heever, JP du Plessis, Marcel Brache, Gio Aplon, Burton Francis, Dewaldt Duvenage, Jebb Sinclair, Tyrone Holmes, Deon Fourie (capt), De Kock Steenkamp, Don Armand, Frans Malherbe, Tiaan Liebenberg, Deon Carstens.
Replacements: Siyabonga Ntubeni, Brok Harris, JC Kritzinger, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Louis Schreuder, Gary van Aswegen, Damian de Allende. – Sapa