DHL WP team to play Pampas in Vodacom Cup

Apr 11 • National, South Africa, Vodacom Cup • 3502 Views • Comments Off on DHL WP team to play Pampas in Vodacom Cup

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WP vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

WP vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

DHL WP change ten for Pampas

DHL Western Province will take on the ICBC Pampas XV in a Vodacom Cup, Round Five clash at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 14h30).

The Pampas will be ‘hosting’ Western Province – the Men from Argentina having chosen to play this fixture at DHL Newlands as the curtain-raiser to the Super Rugby clash between the DHL Stormers and the Sharks.

“There’s always been a great relationship between Argentina and Western Province Rugby and we’re naturally very happy to be playing this game at DHL Newlands,” said DHL WP coach John Dobson.

“Newlands is a wonderful rugby venue and we can understand why the Pampas requested for the match to be played here.”

WP have hosted their home matches at City Park and Paarl so far this season, but Dobson is aware that the Pampas will be a tough nut to crack – even at ‘home’.

Dobson added: “We’re in for one helluva match (on Saturday). The Pampas beat Boland 65-23 last week, the same Boland side that we drew with in the opening round.

“As one would expect (from an Argentinean side), the Pampas have a physical pack. I’d say we have plenty of firepower in our backs division, so the real challenge is to match the Pampas up front.”

WP have made ten changes (one of them a positional switch) from last weekend, the Men in Blue & White Hoops having beaten the Border Bulldogs 22-13 at Faure Street.

In the backline, Devon Williams has been moved from wing to fullback, whilst Michael van der Spuy, Ederies Arendse, Tim Swiel and Bolla Conradie come into the starting line-up.

Up front, Carel du Preez (No.7 flank), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (No.6), Wilhelm van der Sluys (No.5 lock), Mike Willemse (hooker) and Ashley Wells (loosehead prop) will all start, with Stephan Coetzee, Mike Poppmeier and Cobus Nel reverting to the bench.

“We’ve lost three locks in the past months and now (backs) Gary van Aswegen, Kurt Coleman and Cheslin Kolbe are all in the Stormers set-up too,” said Dobson.

“I’m really happy for those three players, and also Gerbrandt Grobler, and I think our union’s depth has once again come up trumps – with players like Wilhelm van der Sluys and Tim Swiel available to us.

“I’m very excited to see Tim play at flyhalf and Wilhelm has played in a Vodacom Cup Final, a Currie Cup Final and a Varsity Cup Final over the past 12 months; they’re quality players – along with (wing) Ederies Arendse, who is back from a long-term injury.

“At the same time, I’m looking forward to seeing (lock) Taz Fuzani, from UWC, build on his good start from last week and Carel du Preez, the outstanding amateur loose forward in our club set-up, will have a chance to show his wares at this level.

“Also, Michael Willemse, fresh off a strong Varsity Cup campaign, will get his first chance at hooker – despite being just 19 years old – meaning we’re going into this game with four Under-20 players and five Under-21s!”

With all said and done, and looking ahead to the weekend, Dobson concluded: “It’s a massively exciting opportunity for everyone and I look forward to seeing this young side in action.

“We’re pushing hard for that home play-off spot, but we know it doesn’t get any easier for us against the powerful Pampas. We have prepared well this week and the team is looking forward to the challenge.”

The DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup team to take on the Pampas:

15. Devon Williams
14. Pat Howard
13. Michael van der Spuy
12. Marcel Brache (captain)
11. Ederies Arendse
10. Tim Swiel
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Rayn Smid
7. Carel du Preez
6. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
5. Wilhelm van der Sluys
4. Taz Fuzani
3. Brok Harris
2. Mike Willemse
1. Ashley Wells

16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Chris Heiberg
18. Mike Poppmeier
19. Cobus Nel
20. Godlen Masimla
21. Berton Klaasen
22. Dillyn Leyds

Referee: Pieter Janse van Vuuren

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