Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is back to lead Western Province in their Currie Cup semi-final against the Sharks in Cape Town on Saturday.
Kolisi returns having missed the previous two games due to COVID-19 protocols. There are two further changes to the pack, with Salmaan Moerat (lock) also making his return, while in the front row Ali Vermaak (loosehead prop) makes his first start of the season in the absence of Springbok stalwart Steven Kitshoff, who was ruled out through COVID-19 protocols.
The backline that did duty in Western Province’s victory against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein three weeks ago remains unchanged.
Western Province head coach John Dobson said they intent on making the most of every minute out on the Newlands pitch on Saturday.
“We have earned the right to play this semi-final at Newlands and we want to deliver a fitting performance on Saturday,” explained Dobson.
“We have had time to prepare properly and we are fielding a number of settled combinations, so the challenge is to go out there and put together an 80-minute performance and secure our place in the final next week.”
Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Ruhan Nel, 24 Sazi Sandi, 25 Tristan Leyds.
Western Province v Cell C Sharks
Date: Saturday, 23 January 2021
Time: 16h30 (local)
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni and Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Stuart Berry