CAPE TOWN – Wing Seabelo Senatla has been named in Western Province’s starting line-up to take on the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday, while loose forward Nizaam Carr will make his 50th Currie Cup appearance when they run out at the Mbombela Stadium (7.15pm kickoff).
Fit-again Senatla is the only change to the backline that thrashed the Free State Cheetahs 57-14 last weekend as he returns to the right wing, with his Springbok Sevens teammate Werner Kok providing cover on the bench.
Upfront, the 26-year-old Carr, who will start at No 8, will start in an unchanged loose trio alongside Kobus van Dyk and Jaco Coetzee.
In the front row, JC Janse van Rensburg will pack down at loosehead and Michael Kumbirai comes into the starting line-up at tighthead in the absence of Wilco Louw, who has been called up to the Springbok squad in New Zealand.
Alistair Vermaak and Caylib Oosthuizen will provide front-row cover, while loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe will look to build on his post-injury form with an appearance off the bench.
Coach John Dobson said that his side are under no illusion about the size of the task facing them in Nelspruit.
“We have seen how tough it has been for sides to go to Mbombela Stadium this season, so we know that we will have to be at our best on Friday,” Dobson said.
“We have challenged ourselves to lift our intensity and be as accurate as possible for what is a critical hurdle in our Currie Cup campaign.”
Teams For Nelspruit
Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (captain), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Mark Pretorius, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Bench: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Brian Shabangu, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Selom Gavor.
Western Province: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Bench: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Caylib Oosthuizen, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Werner Kok.