Currie Cup

WP name promising combinations for Currie Cup



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Western Province will field a formidable combination in their Currie Cup opening clash against the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday, according to coach Allister Coetzee.

The WP matchday-22, which was announced at Newlands on Wednesday, all have Super Rugby experience with the exception of three.

One of the three, however, is outside centre Pat Howard, who was capped three times at Currie Cup level last season.

Wing Cheslin Kolbe and lock Gerbrandt Grobler will be making their Currie Cup debuts.

“A big positive for the team we’re fielding on Saturday is the continuity that we’re keeping in terms of Super Rugby selection,” Coetzee said on Wednesday.

“It inspires confidence in the ranks but it does not mean we have a winning team.

“The confidence will especially be prevalent in the pack.”

Coetzee added he was pleased that he could field a combination which reflected a measure of continuity in the Currie Cup side.

The decision to play rookie fullback Kolbe on the wing, Springbok wing Gio Aplon at fullback and wing Howard at outside centre has come about because of the way WP plan to play against the threat posed by the Bulls.

“Backline players are normally versatile and we’ve chosen the players in positions to fit in with the way we want to play,” said Coetzee.

“It is a bonus to have a fullback on the wing, especially if the Bulls launch their aerial bombardment.

“We have Berton Klaasen to cover the midfield, and if required Damian de Allende can also play at outside centre.

Coetzee also named two props on the bench, which, according to Coetzee, suggests that they expect the Bulls to be a force in the frontrow.

“In the past we’ve done well when we move fresh props onto the field, and that’s why we favoured the idea of an extra prop on the bench.

“There are also new scrum rules, which offer fresh challenges. It may take a few matches, but we want to get the [scrum] basics right as soon as possible.

“We just hope that the players made their selection count and that they start challenging for Super Rugby places.”

Western Province

Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever, Pat Howard, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Gary van Aswegen, Louis Schreuder, Nizaam Carr, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie (capt), De Kock Steenkamp, Gerbrandt Grobler, Brok Harris, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Alistair Vermaak, Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes, Ruan Kitshoff, Nic Groom, Kurt Coleman, Berton Klaasen.

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