DHL Western Province have been boosted by the inclusion of backline stars Dan du Plessis and Bjorn Basson for their SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter with SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn on Sunday.
Coach John Dobson’s team will be looking to end the league phase of the competition unbeaten when they run out at Bridgeton Sports Grounds in Oudtshoorn for the match, which kicks off at 15h00 on Sunday (broadcast live on SuperSport).
With the likes of Chad Solomon, Caylib Oosthuizen, Godlen Masimla, Michal Hazner and Khanyo Ngcukana sidelined through injury, Dobson has had to make a number of changes.
Basson comes in on the left wing, with Marcello Sampson on the right and Craig Barry at fullback, whilst a fit-again Du Plessis links up in the midfield with SA Sevens star Ruhan Nel.
There is also a new halfback pairing of Brandon Thomson and Justin Phillips to round off the new-look backline.
Flank Nyasha Tarusenga gets his first start of the campaign alongside skipper Eital Bredenkamp and No.8 Jaco Coetzee in the loose trio.Eddie Zandberg and Jurie van Vuuren are in the second row and up front hooker Dean Muir is flanked by props Michael Kumbirai and Frans van Wyk.
Percy Mngadi and Ash Wells provide front row cover, with Luke Stringer and Johan du Toit the other forward replacements.
Halfbacks Paul de Wet and Errol Jaggers and outside back Dan Kriel are also set to make an impact if called upon from the replacements bench.
Dobson said that it is important for his team to take some winning momentum into the knock-out phase of the tournament.
“This will be one of our toughest games yet, so it will be a good test of where we are at ahead of the play-offs.
“We are determined to take another step up and ensure that we take as much confidence as possible from Oudtshoorn with a convincing performance,” he said.
DHL Western Province: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Nyasha Tarusenga, 6 Eital Bredenkamp (captain), 5 Eddie Zandberg, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Michael Kumbirai.
Replacements: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Ash Wells, 18 Luke Stringer, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Paul de Wet, 21 Errol Jaggers, 22 Dan Kriel.