Robert du Preez returns to the Western Province squad after an injury layoff. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Ruhan Nel and Robert du Preez will form part of Western Province coach John Dobson’s match-day squad for Saturday’s clash against the Sharks at Newlands (3pm kickoff).

Nel will start at left wing in the place of Dillyn Leyds, who moves to fullback in the absence of injured SP Marais, while Du Preez will provide flyhalf cover for Damian Willemse – with Dobson saying that it would be “unfair to expect (him) to play 80 minutes in every game now that Kurt (Coleman) is gone”.

The other change to the backline is at No 9, where Dewaldt Duvenage will form the halfback pairing with Willemse in the place of Jano Vermaak, who has been called up for Springbok duty after Ross Cronjé’s injury.

Dobson made no changes upfront, while on the bench, prop Caylib Oosthuizen drops out of the 22-man squad, while scrumhalf Justin Phillips makes his way back into it.

Regarding Nel’s inclusion, Dobson said: “Ruhan did a good job in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge. He’s also a good kicker, Dan Kriel is not a wing, even though he’s done a good job. Werner Kok was available, we just want to get him more used to the 15s set-up.”

Dobson also said that he is looking forward giving the players a break next week, when Province have a bye.

“After the Griquas game, we needed to get some continuity. Honestly, we didn’t expect to lose that game.

“We’re trying to get the guys to push through, and after this game, we’ll look at giving the guys a rest – there are some sore boys.”

Western Province Team 

15 Dillyn Leyds,14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen , 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntebeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Bench: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Eddie Zandberg, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Dan Kriel.


IOL Sport