Dillyn Leyds leads Western Province against Cheetahs

23 August 2018 - 15:45 By Craig Ray‚ Cape Town
Lukhanyo Am of the Sharks gets away from Dillyn Leyds of the Stormers during a Super Rugby match at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on July 7 2018.
Lukhanyo Am of the Sharks gets away from Dillyn Leyds of the Stormers during a Super Rugby match at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on July 7 2018.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Dillyn Leyds will play left wing and captain Western Province in their 2018 Currie Cup opener against the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

Leyds‚ who has played fullback‚ right wing and flyhalf for the union‚ leads the team in a competitive match for the first time.

Western Province are the defending Currie Cup champions and have to make the most of one of only three home games in the shortened competition format.

SP Marais is at fullback‚ with JJ Engelbrecht on the right wing and Sergeal Petersen set to make his WP debut should he come off the replacements bench.

In the midfield‚ Sevens Springbok Ruhan Nel links up with Dan Kriel‚ with Dan du Plessis among the replacements.

Josh Stander will partner the experienced Jano Vermaak at halfback‚ with Herschel Jantjies providing scrumhalf cover.

Sikhumbuzo Notshe has returned from the Springbok camp to take his place in the loose trio alongside Kobus van Dyk and Juarno Augustus.

In the second row Salmaan Moerat will partner JD Schickerling‚ with Ernst van Rhyn set to provide an impact in the second half.

Up front props Ali Vermaak and Michael Kumbirai start on either side of hooker Scarra Ntubeni‚ with Caylib Oosthuizen‚ Neethling Fouche and Chad Solomon on the replacements bench.

“A six-game competition makes every match important because there is no time develop players‚” Dobson said.

“One of the conditions for out recent tour to France was to play two games to make it feel like a proper tour and not a Super Rugby week.

“It also allowed us to test players such as Herschel Jantjies and even Sergeal Petersen‚ which we might not have done had we not toured France and gone straight into the Currie Cup.

“It gave us a massive chance to look at our player depth in a competitive environment and I’m pleased with what we saw.”

Injury ruled Petersen out of the entire Super Rugby campaign‚ and he is relishing the chance to finally show his worth at Newlands against his former club.

The team have dubbed him ‘Kwagga’ after he suffered a heavy blow to his nose against Montpellier last week‚ in honour of Blitzbok star Kwagga Smith‚ whose nose has been broken many times in his career.

“I don’t care that it’s against my former team‚ I’m just excited to play again‚” Petersen said. “We built great bonds on our tour to France and I’m happy to be part of this team.

“I’ve been at WP for eight months and this will be my first contribution at Newlands.”

The Cheetahs have dropped halfbacks Rudy Paige and Tian Schoeman after last week’s 34-12 loss to the Blue Bulls and brought in Tian Meyer and Louis Fouche respectively.

Centre Dries Swanepoel and No.8 Aidon Davids will also make their Cheetahs debuts.

Western Province: 15 SP Marais‚ 14 JJ Engelbrecht‚ 13 Ruhan Nel‚ 12 Dan Kriel‚ 11 Dillyn Leyds (captain)‚ 10 Josh Stander‚ 9 Jano Vermaak‚ 8 Juarno Augustus‚ 7 Kobus van Dyk‚ 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 5 JD Schickerling‚ 4 Salmaan Moerat‚ 3 Michael Kumbirai‚ 2 Scarra Ntubeni‚ 1 Ali Vermaak

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon‚ 17 Caylib Oosthuizen‚ 18 Neethling Fouche‚ 19 Ernst van Rhyn‚ 20 Herschel Jantjies‚ 21 Dan du Plessis‚ 22 Sergeal Petersen

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Malcolm Jaer‚ 14 Rabz Maxwane‚ 13 Dries Swanepoel‚ 12 Nico Lee‚ 11 William Small-Smith‚ 10 Louis Fouche‚ 9 Tian Meyer‚ 8 Aidon Davis‚ 7 Oupa Mohoje (captain)‚ 6 Jasper Wiese‚ 5 Dennis Visser‚ 4 Justin Basson‚ 3 Güther Janse van Vuuren‚ 2 Joseph Dweba‚ 1 Ox Nche

Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit‚ 17 Erich de Jager‚ 18 Luan de Bruin‚ 19 Stephan Malan‚ 20 Junior Pokomela‚ 21 Shaun Venter‚ 22 Ernst Stapelberg