DHL Western Province have been bolstered by a number of players returning from injury for their clash with the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
Prop Wilco Louw, lock Jean Kleyn, utility back Jaco Taute and flyhalf Robert du Preez will all make their first appearances of the season for DHL Western Province, while prop Alistair Vermaak is also back in the mix after doing duty for the DHL Stormers.
In a completely new front row Louw starts at tighthead prop with Frans van Wyk on the replacements bench, while Vermaak slots in at loosehead in place of JP Smith and Cullen Collopy gets an opportunity at hooker with both Chad Solomon and Mike Willemse ruled out through injury.
Kleyn returns to partner captain Chris van Zyl at lock, with Jurie van Vuuren on the replacements bench, and there is a shuffle in the loose trio with Beyers de Villiers coming in at openside flank alongside Luke Stringer and Kobus van Dyk.In the backline scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies makes his first DHL Western Province start in the absence of the injured Justin Phillips, with the uncapped Freddie Muller on the replacements bench.
Taute slots in at inside centre in place of the injured Tim Whitehead, while Grant Hermanus returns to the starting line-up at fullback and Du Preez provides flyhalf cover on the replacements bench.
Coach John Dobson said that whie it has been quite a disruptive week, with a number of changes from the team that beat ORC Griquas at DHL Newlands, he is excited to see what the new players will bring against a strong Leopards side in a match that kicks off at 19h00 on Saturday in Potchefstroom.
“There are quite a few new faces this week, and the challenge is to continue the momentum we have built in recent weeks.
“It will be tough up in Potchefstroom against a Leopards team that has shown good form recently, but we are certainly up for the challenge,” he said.
DHL Western Province: 15 Grant Hermanus, 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Scott van Breda, 9 Hershel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Luke Stringer, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Cullen Collopy, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Jurie van Vuuren, 19 Christo van der Merwe, 20 Freddie Muller, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Devon Williams.