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Dillyn Leyds will lead DHL Western Province as they get their Currie Cup title defence underway against Toyota Free State Cheetahs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The versatile Leyds will be on the left wing – the same position he played in the final in Durban last year – for the clash with the Bloemfontein side which kicks off at 17h15 at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

SP Marais is at fullback, with JJ Engelbrecht on the right wing and Sergeal Petersen set to make his DHL Western Province debut should he come off the replacements bench.

In the midfield, Sevens Springbok Ruhan Nel links up with Dan Kriel, with Dan du Plessis among the replacements.

Josh Stander will partner the experienced Jano Vermaak at halfback, with Herschel Jantjies providing scrumhalf cover.

Sikhumbuzo Notshe has returned from the Springbok camp to take his place in the loose trio alongside Kobus van Dyk and Juarno Augustus.

In the second row Salmaan Moerat will partner JD Schickerling, with Ernst van Rhyn set to provide an impact in the second half.

Up front props Ali Vermaak and Michael Kumbirai start on either side of hooker Scarra Ntubeni, with Caylib Oosthuizen, Neethling Fouche and Chad Solomon on the replacements bench.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his side is determined to start their campaign on a positive note at DHL Newlands.

“We have had a good pre-season in preparation for this campaign so everyone is very keen to go out there and implement what we have planned.

“It is great to start the season at DHL Newlands and the players are keen to make an impression in front of our loyal supporters,” he said.

DHL Western Province: 15 SP Marais, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds (captain), 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Herschel Jantjies, 21 Dan du Plessis, 22 Sergeal Petersen.

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