• Province shift Willemse to fullback

    Damian Willemse will start at fullback in one of three changes to the Western Province backline to face the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    Western Province’s starting forward pack remains unchanged, while there are three changes and two positional switches in the backline for the trip to Ellis Park.

    Willemse will take the injured Warrick Gelant’s place at fullback after the Springbok was ruled out for between six and nine months with a knee-ligament tear.

    Replacing Willemse at flyhalf will be Tim Swiel, who forms a new halfback combination with Godlen Masimla. Herschel Jantjies will miss the clash after not being named in the matchday squad.

    In the only other change to Province’s starting lineup, there’s a shift in midfield where Ruhan Nel starts at outside centre, causing Dan du Plessis to shift to inside centre, with Rikus Pretorius named on an extended bench.

    Also back among the replacements are lock David Meihuizen, flank Marcel Theunissen and scrumhalf Paul de Wet.

    Province head coach John Dobson said that his team have embraced the challenge that awaits them in Johannesburg.

    ‘We know that we will have to be at our best for 80 minutes this weekend if we are going to get the result that we are looking for,’ Dobson said.

    ‘We have prepared well for this game and everyone is looking forward to the opportunity to show what it means to us to play for Western Province.’

    Western Province – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
    Subs (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Jaco Coetzee, 25 Kade Wolhuter, 26 Rikus Pretorius.

    Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

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    Dylan Jack