’Good kid’ Tristan Leyds has got a bit of X-factor says Western Province coach
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CAPE TOWN - Western Province coach John Dobson says it's quite disruptive going into their crunch match against the Pumas at Newlands Friday (kick-off 7pm) without a few of their form players.
Dobson has made seven changes to the team that lost to the Lions last week, with some of them rotational and the others injury-enforced.
Province were hit hard by injury in the Currie Cuo game at Ellis Park – wing Seabelo Senatla (knee ligament), centre Ruhan Nel (ankle), No 8 Juarno Augustus (neck spasm, concussion), and tighthead prop Neethling Fouche (concussion) have all been put on the injury list, while there were also a number of minor knocks taken by a few others.
Dobson has been vocal about the fact that they targeted the Currie Cup final while the Super Rugby Unlocked competition was still ongoing, and if they want to see their hopes of hosting a home semi-final undented, they will have to start getting the results (they've lost their first two Currie Cup matches).
“The injuries will impact us in these games, but quite a few will be coming back, so we will be in a much better position then (Cheetahs game),” he said during the team announcement press conference.
“We've got 14 guys out, and I'm not saying that as an excuse because some of them won't start.
“The guys we have lost are big blows to us.”
In the backline, Tristan Leyds gets a run on the wing, while Michal Haznar will form the centre pairing with Rikus Pretorius, who is back in the starting line-up.
Paul de Wet starts at scrumhalf in the other change to the backline.
Up front, Jaco Coetzee will pack down at the back of the scrum, while the other two changes see lock David Meihuizen and hooker Scarra Ntubeni come into the starting line-up.
On the changes, Dobson said: “I really think Seabelo has the potential to transition into international rugby in Fifteens, so to lose an international-class wing is a blow.
Neethling has been a magic player coming off the bench for us, and Ruhan was arguably our best player against the Lions.
“What I can tell you is that you guys are going to be really impressed by Tristan Leyds. He's a good kid and he's got a little bit of X-factor as well, so it's quite exciting.”
Western Province team
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Tristan Leyds, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Dan du Plessis, 24 Kwenzo Blose, 25 Marcel Theunissen, 26 Sihle Njezula.