DHL Western Province U19 halfback Jean Nel on the run against the Toyota FS Cheetahs U19 in Bloemfontein. Photo by Morgan Piek /Rugby15.
Nazeem Adams, the DHL Western Province Under-19 coach, has announced his team to take on the SWD Eagles at City Park, in Athlone, on Saturday (kick-off 14h00).
Adams has made numerous changes to his team from the line-up that beat the Free State Cheetahs 40-31 in Bloemfontein last weekend.
He explained: “We’ve made a lot of changes, but most of them are just guys moving up from the bench.
“We’re certainly not under-estimating SWD but as we approach the halfway mark of the season it’s important that we give our fringe players a go.”
Probably the most notable shuffle is at flyhalf and centre, with midfield playmaker Janco Gunther shifting to flyhalf and fit-again Johnny Kotze (back from a long-term shoulder injury) lining up at inside centre alongside Justin Geduld, who has combined so well with Gunther in the midfield this season.
Regular halfbacks Tommy Allan and Jean Nel both get a complete break this week, with Andre Warner starting at scrumhalf, whilst Justin Benn and captain Freddie Kirsten (although on the bench) will also get a rest on Saturday. Left-wing JP Lewis will take over the captaincy, with Kirsten on the bench, and Niel Oelofse will serve as vice-captain.
The surprise return to fitness of flanker Eital Bredenkamp has allowed the hard-working Benn to take a break, whilst coach Adams is also looking forward to seeing young Edwin Sass (who is still at school, at Tygerberg) in action – albeit from the bench.
“(Fullback) Cheslin Kolbe will cover scrumhalf and flyhalf, with Edwin covering the centre positions,” said Adams, “it’s also a great opportunity for Johnny Kotze to come back. Johnny has been training with us since last week and he will probably get about 20/25 minutes.
“You can’t win this competition without creating depth,” he added. “Like I said, I am not under-estimating SWD… but I have every bit of faith in the team selected for this weekend in the last of our first-round action in this tournament.”
With the DHL WP Under-19s and Under-21s playing at City Park in Athlone on Saturday, Adams is hoping for a good turn-out, saying: “The players know City Park well.
“We held our trials there earlier this season, so we’re used to playing there and the guys all enjoy it.”
The DHL Western Province Under-19 team to take on the SWD Eagles is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Selom Gavor
13. Justin Geduld
12. Johnny Kotze
11. JP Lewis (captain)
10. Janco Gunther
9. Andre Warner
8. Nicholai Lubbe
7. Jurie van Vuuren
6. Eital Bredenkamp
5. Tiaan Benade
4. Jean Kleyn
3. Entienne Swanepoel
2. Brainton Booysen
1. Niel Oelofse (vice-captain)
16. Freddie Kirsten
17. Sti Sithole
18. Deacon Chowels
19. Ryan Odendaal
20. Joel Smith
21. Edwin Sass
22. Kyle Lombard
23. Martin Souls
Referee: Archie Sehlako
Directions to City Park in Athlone: Take Jan Smuts drive (off the N2 Highway), at the first robot turn left, next robot turn right, straight down the road after Alexander Sinton High School (on your left) – City Park will be directly thereafter (long face-brick wall). Enter at the second gate.
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