Van Wyk to lead DHL WP u19s

Sep 18 • General News • 2185 Views • Comments Off on Van Wyk to lead DHL WP u19s

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Powerhouse prop Frans van Wyk will captain the DHL Western Province Under-19 team when they take on the EP Kings Under-19 team at City Park on Saturday morning (kick-off 10h45).

Van Wyk will start his first match since late July, whilst near-namesake Francois van der Merwe will pack down at tighthead prop as Paul-Martin Wipplinger continues at hooker.

“In the absence of Rikus Bothma, Frans was our preferred choice to captain the team,” DHL WP Under-19 coach Nazeem Adams told wprugby.com.

“Of course he’s just come off a long injury lay-off, so Johan Momsen – despite his academic commitments – captained the side last week and now Frans, who is actually a loosehead prop, will take over the reins this week.

“Having both Frans and Francois fit and starting is a big boost, although Kyle Whyte – who has done well up until now at loosehead – will be missed during the next fortnight with an ankle injury.”

In other team changes, as the DHL WP Under-19s look to put an end to a two-game losing streak, Grant Hermanus moves from fullback to the right-wing with Khanyo Ngcukana making his first start (in the No.15 shirt) and Dewald Naude reverting to the bench.

Inside centre Ryan Oosthuizen has been battling with a cold this week, with coach Adams opting to start Brandon Thomson in the No.12 jersey in Oosthuizen’s absence.

“I’m actually very excited to see Brandon operate at inside centre,” said Adams.

“Brandon was our official inside centre back-up last weekend and with Ernst Stapelberg going so well at flyhalf this is an ideal opportunity to give Brandon some game time. He’s a class player and I think he will add something different in the role of an extra playmaker alongside Ernst.”

The DHL WP U19s are in third place on the Absa Provincial Under-19 log with 28 points, but they have a game in hand over the second-placed Free State side (31 points), with the Bulls in first position on 32 points.

Province have lost two games in a row in three weeks, but coach Adams is confident that his charges can right their recent wrongs against their combative opponents from Port Elizabeth.

Said Adams: “We’ve spoken a lot since last Saturday. Our performance against the Lions was our worst performance of the season and we told the players as much – although it didn’t need pointing out, the guys know the standards that we have and what is acceptable (or not).

“Our focus has solely been us and our own game (and performance) this week and I look forward to seeing the team rise to the challenge and, in the process, keeping alive a potential top-two finish.”

* Both the DHL WP Under-19 and Under-21 teams will be in action at City Park on Saturday, along with the WP Club Rugby Top 6 semifinal matches.

2014 DHL Newlands season tickets are valid at City Park on Saturday but the general admission fee is R10 for adults, with kids under 12 entering for free.

City Park is based on the corner of Thornton and Lawson Roads in Crawford and easily accessible from the M5 and N2 freeways.

The DHL WP Under-19 team for Saturday (v EP Kings at City Park) is as follows:

15. Khanyo Ngcukana
14. Grant Hermanus
13. Jarryd Sage
12. Brandon Thomson
11. Leolin Zas
10. Ernst Stapelberg
9. Justin Phillips
8. Dian Koen
7. Luke Stringer
6. Charlton Jonas
5. Johan Momsen
4. David Ribbans
3. Francois van der Merwe
2. Paul-Martin Wipplinger
1. Frans van Wyk (captain)

Replacements:
16. Hanno Snyman
17. Lebohang Mdakane
18. Regardt Louw
19. Floris Pelser
20. Lohann Louw
21. Damian Stevens
22. Dewald Naude
23. Adriaan Carelse

Referee: Renier Vermeulen

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