Leolin Zas has been included in the DHL Western Province U21 match-day squad for their final against Xerox Golden Lions U21, in Bloemfontein, on Saturday.
The speedy wing, who missed just one match for the DHL Stormers this season through suspension, turns 21-years-old on Thursday and has been named on the replacements bench for DHL Western Province U21.
Zas was part of the unbeaten DHL Western Province U21 side last year and will feature again in what will be their fifth consecutive SA Rugby U21 Championship Final.
There is just one injury-enforced change to the starting line-up which saw off Toyota Free State Cheetahs U21 in their semifinal last week, with lock David Ribbans ruled out and Jaco Willemse getting an opportunity to start in the second row.Coach Jerome Paarwater said that whilst having continuity in selection is crucial in the knock-out phase, it is also a significant boost to be able to call on a player of Zas’ quality.
“This team has put in an incredible effort this year to get us through to a fifth consecutive final, so they are determined to do justice to all their hard work in Bloemfontein.
“Leolin is a devastating finisher who could well make the difference for us when it counts most, so to have him on the bench gives the rest of the team that much more confidence,” he said.
Paarwater knows that his side will have to be as sharp as ever if they are to beat the Xerox Golden Lions U21 and retain their national title.
“We know that we are in for a tough examination against a talented Xerox Golden Lions U21 side, but we just want to go out there, embrace the occasion and play to the best of our abilities,” he said.
DHL Western Province U21: 15 Grant Hermanus, 14 Sibahle Maxwane, 13 Eduan Keyter, 12 Ryan Oosthuizen, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Jacques Vermaulen, 6 Luke Stringer (captain), 5 Eduard Zandberg, 4 Jaco Willemse, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Percy Mngadi, 1 Kyle Whyte.
Replacements: 16 Hanno Snyman, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Nyasha Tarusenga, 19 Christo van der Merwe, 20 Herschel Jantjies, 21 Dennis Cox, 22 Leolin Zas.
Date: Saturday, October 22
Venue: Toyota Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Paul Mente
TMO: Johan Greeff