DHL Western Province will head to Johannesburg for their Vodacom Cup semifinal clash against the Golden Lions on Saturday (14h15) with a team showing eight changes from last weekend.
WP, the defending Vodacom Cup champions, beat GWK Griquas 21-13 in Cape Town last Saturday to progress to the semifinals and they face a tough challenge against the MTN Golden Lions at Ellis Park this week.
Three of the changes to the WP line-up have been enforced, with SA Under-20 players Cheslin Kolbe and Mike Willemse unavailable for selection, and flanker Rohan Kitshoff not eligible for the semifinals due to the lack of games he has played this season.
Tim Swiel will start at fullback, in place of Kolbe, Stephan Coetzee returns at hooker for Willemse and Maties skipper Helmut Lehmann (No.6) returns to the Western Province ranks for the first time in 2013 after making a few Currie Cup appearances last season.
DHL WP coach John Dobson said: “I am really disappointed that we have lost so many players from last week, but this group has made a collective decision to go and do this job anyway.
“We are representing WP and it doesn’t matter who is there, the fact remains is that we are Western Province and (we) must do the Blue & White justice!”
In other changes, meanwhile, skipper and regular inside centre Marcel Brache has been ruled out with a recurrence of his quad-muscle injury, but veteran scrumhalf Bolla Conradie has regained fitness and will lead Western Province into battle. Mike van der Spuy will replace Brache in the No.12 jersey on Saturday.
Vice-captain Gerbrandt Grobler returns to the second row after playing in the No.7 jersey last week, with Taz Fuzani moving down to the bench and Graham Knoop starting on the side of the scrum after his good second-half cameo against Griquas last weekend. The final change, also up front, sees Ashley Wells take over at loosehead prop from Tjoppie Ferreira.
“We are up against it but we enjoy being David and Goliath must be ready,” said Dobson.
“We have some plans and hope they come off. We have some things that we have to remedy from last week, especially in the set-piece. I would like to say that we have worked hard this week, but the truth is at this stage of a competition we need the boys fresh – especially at altitude.”
* Saturday’s match will kick-off at 14h15 at Ellis Park. Tickets can be purchased from the Ellis Park ticket office (call 011 402 8644 for more information). The match will also be televised live on SuperSport One.
The DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup team to take on the Lions:
15. Tim Swiel
14. Pat Howard
13. Berton Klaasen
12. Mike van der Spuy
11. Devon Williams
10. Kurt Coleman
9. Bolla Conradie (captain)
8. Rayn Smid
7. Graham Knoop
6. Helmut Lehmann
5. Wilhelm van der Sluys
4. Gerbrandt Grobler (vice-captain)
3. Chris Heiberg
2. Stephan Coetzee
1. Ashley Wells
16. Jody Reyneke
17. Tjoppie Ferreira
18. Taz Fuzani
19. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
20. Godlen Masimla
21. Kobus van Wyk
22. Dillyn Leyds
Referee: Marius Jonker