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Six players are set make their senior DHL Western Province debut in the opening Currie Cup Qualifier against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands on Friday.

Centre Daniel du Plessis, wing Sibahle Maxwane, flyhalf Brandon Thomson and flank Luke Stringer will all get their first taste of senior rugby for DHL Western Province, whilst Meyer Swanepoel and Damian Stevens are also set to debut should they feature off the replacements bench.

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson said that the Vodacom Blue Bulls will present a serious test of his team’s mettle in their first match of the season, which kicks off at 16h15 on Friday, April 8 as a curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the DHL Stormers and the Sunwolves.

“We are very excited to start this competition. You don’t get a much more exciting or harder start than to play our traditional rivals, the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands,” he said.While the depth at Dobson’s disposal has been put to the test, he is confident that his team has the talent to do the famous blue and white jersey proud as they target a strong start to the campaign.

“I think we have an exciting squad with some very talented young players. With the various challenges of other tournaments and injuries, I think we have put together a competitive team.

“They need match practice so there might be a rude awakening in a game of this level, but there certainly is the talent, preparation, willpower and pride in the blue and white hoops to pull it through. We are looking forward to it very much,” he added.

The match will kick-off at 16h15 on Friday, April 8 as a curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby game between the DHL Stormers and the Sunwolves.

DHL Western Province: 15 Grant Hermanus, 14 EW Viljoen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Daniel du Plessis, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jacques Vermeulen, 7 Luke Stringer, 6 Eital Bredenkamp (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 JP Smith, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Meyer Swanepoel, 19 Tertius Daniller, 20 Damian Stevens, 21 Berton Klaassen, 22 JP Lewis.

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