Currie Cup

WP name two debutants in squad for Griquas

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Western Province have named two debutantes in their 22-man squad to face Griquas in Friday’s Currie Cup clash at Newlands.

Allister Coetzee, the WP head coach, said that loose forwards Rayn Smid and Josh Katzen have been drawn from the ranks of WP Under-21 because they have abilities that are tailor-made for a match against a side like Griquas.

“I must make it clear from the outset that by selecting debutantes we are not underestimating Griquas,” said Coetzee,

“Last week we saw the Sharks just managed to scrape home by a point (25-24). Anyone who underestimates Griquas does so at their own peril.

“Smid and Katzen have abilities that will be useful at the breakdowns and we are aware that Griquas have the players to dominate at that phase of play.

“We have also gone for a 5-2 instead of the usual 4-3 split on the bench because we know what the Griquas will bring to Newlands.”

The two debutants replace flank Michael Rhodes, who has received a one match ban for four play against the Blue Bulls, and Deon Fourie, who has a rib injury.

“Given our circumstances, this is the best team we could select,” said Coetzee.

“We also a relative newcomer in ‘Taz’ (Methetheleli Fuzani) and we would like to him another run in the starting line-up because it helps with his match fitness.

“What can we do about Michael’s ban, other than hope he’ll learn from it.”

Earlier this week WP lost the services of Springbok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg for the rest of the season, and flyhalf Gary van Aswegen has joined him on the injury list.

Western Province:

Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever, Juan de Jongh, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt Coleman, Nic Groom, Nizaam Carr, Rynhardt Elstadt, Rohan Kitshoff, De Kock Steenkamp (captain), Taz Fuzani, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: Michael Willemse, Brok Harris, Gerbrandt Grobler, Rayn Smid, Josh Katzen, Louis Schreuder, Demetri Catrakilis.

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