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DHL Western Province have been boosted by the inclusion of EW Viljoen at outside centre and Cobus Wiese at lock for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter with SWD Eagles at Brookside on Friday.

Both players will make their first appearance of the campaign in what is the last match of the regular season for defending champions DHL Western Province ahead of the play-offs.

DHL Western Province have already qualified for the quarterfinals next week, having topped the South Section ahead of the clash with SWD Eagles, which kicks off at 15h00 on Friday at Brookside.

As one of just two unbeaten teams in the competition, DHL Western Province will be looking to finish with as many log points as possible, to secure home advantage in the knock-out phase of the competition.

The team to face the SWD Eagles at Brookside on Friday is much-changed, as Head Coach John Dobson seeks to ensure that as many players as possible are sharp ahead of the play-offs.

Up front prop Ali Vermaak and hooker Chad Solomon come into the starting line-up, with Dean Muir, Caylib Oosthuizen and Michael Kumbirai among the replacements.

Wiese comes in at lock to partner Ernst van Rhyn, with Johan du Toit shifting to the back row where he links up with captain Luke Stringer and No.8 Juarno Augustus.

In the backline Herschel Jantjies partners Josh Stander at halfback, with Viljoen forming a midfield combination with Dan du Plessis.

At the back Duncan Saal is back on the wing, with Tristan Leyds at fullback and a fit-again Dan Kriel providing cover on the replacements bench.

Dobson said that after their bye last week, his team are looking to ensure that they take some momentum into the knock-out phase of the competition next week.

“We understand how vital it is that we win well on Friday, to give ourselves the highest possible seeding in the play-offs.

“It was a good bye week, but we are focused on delivering a convincing performance to give us some momentum,” he said.

DHL Western Province: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Luke Stringer (captain), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Marno Redelinghuys, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Dan Kriel.

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