Boks return for Western Province for clash against Sharks in Durban
Western Province coach John Dobson has recalled Springboks Dillyn Leyds and Wilco Louw for Saturday’s must-win Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban.
The Cape side need to win to ensure they make the semifinals and Dobson has turned to every available weapon to achieve the desired result.
Leyds and Louw both featured during the Springboks’ 25-24 loss to the All Blacks at Newlands on Saturday‚ with the latter making his Test debut.
The Sharks are already safely into the semifinals and will also host the final if they progress that far after a season that has seen them win 10 matches in a row.
Louw is at tighthead prop‚ alongside Bongi Mbonambi and JC Janse van Rensburg in the front row‚ while Leyds features on the wing‚ with Ruhan Nel moving to inside centre to partner Huw Jones in midfield.
The only other change to the starting lineup sees Jaco Coetzee on the flank for the coastal derby.
“We know that we need to raise our game as a team this weekend and the players will be going flat out to deliver the result‚” Dobson said.
“It will be a major challenge to go to Durban‚ but one that we have embraced as a team.”
Sharks coach Robert du Preez resisted the urge to rest players for the playoffs regardless of the fact that no other team can usurp their position on the log.
Lukhanyo Am returns from injury to take his place at centre‚ with Tristan Blewett shifting to the bench‚ in the only change to the team that defeated the Lions two weeks ago.
On the bench‚ Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jean-Luc du Preez return from Springbok commitments‚ while Louis Schreuder is back after missing the Lions match due to a family reason‚ and Kobus van Wyk is over the injury that sidelined him.
“The last thing you want to do is go into a semifinal having lost the last game. But for us‚ winning isn’t all we’re focusing on‚ but rather getting better from two weeks ago when we played the Lions‚” Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane said.
“We want to make sure we keep improving. We already have a guaranteed home semifinal‚ so there isn’t any pressure on us this weekend. But we want to go out and play well‚ to keep improving.”
15 Garth April‚ 14 Odwa Ndungane‚ 13 Lukhanyo Am‚ 12 Marius Louw‚ 11 Sibusiso Nkosi‚ 10 Curwin Bosch‚ 9 Michael Claassens‚ 8 Daniel du Preez‚ 7 Jacques Vermeulen‚ 6 Keegan Daniel‚ 5 Ruan Botha (captain)‚ 4 Tyler Paul‚ 3 Ross Geldenhuys‚ 2 Franco Marais‚ 1 Thomas du Toit.
16 Mahlatse Ralepelle‚ 17 Juan Schoeman‚ 18 Jean Droste‚ 19 Jean-Luc du Preez‚ 20 Louis Schreuder‚ 21 Tristan Blewett‚ 22 Jacobus van Wyk.
15 Damian Willemse‚ 14 Seabelo Senatla‚ 13 Huw Jones‚ 12 Ruhan Nel‚ 11 Dillyn Leyds‚ 10 Robert du Preez‚ 9 Dewaldt Duvenage‚ 8 Nizaam Carr‚ 7 Cobus Wiese‚ 6 Jaco Coetzee‚ 5 John Schickerling‚ 4 Chris van Zyl (captain)‚ 3 Wilco Louw‚ 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi‚ 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
16 Ramone Samuels‚ 17 Caylib Oosthuizen‚ 18 Jan de Klerk‚ 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 20 Justin Phillips‚ 21 Werner Kok‚ 22 EW Viljoen.