Willemse set to start at full­back for WP

Cape Argus - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW @Wynon­aLouw

To­mor­row’s Cur­rie Cup meeting be­tween the Blue Bulls and West­ern Prov­ince could pro­vide Spring­bok coach Rassie Eras­mus with an­other chance to as­sess Damian Willemse at full­back.

Al­though the for­mer South African Schools fly­half was named at fly­half for the last Cur­rie Cup match of the week­end, he just might make a late move to full­back, which would see Joshua Stander com­ing into the start­ing line-up at 10.

Fel­low Spring­bok Dil­lyn Leyds – who John Dob­son named at full­back – didn’t take part in Prov­ince’s train­ing ses­sion ahead of the team an­nounce­ment press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day due to a calf in­jury, so a start for him – al­though it says oth­er­wise on the team sheet – is un­likely at this stage.

Eras­mus has said that he wants to blood Willemse at full­back, and against the All Blacks at Lof­tus at the week­end, the 20-year-old came off the bench and re­placed Wil­lie le Roux.

Stander has been WP’s start­ing fly­half this Cur­rie Cup sea­son in the ab­sence of Willemse and Jean-Luc du Plessis.

Du Plessis, de­spite hav­ing un­der­gone surgery on his hip and looked well on his way to re­cov­ery (he played a hand­ful of games fol­low­ing his op in the USA in De­cem­ber last year), has been strug­gling with a hip in­jury again, while Willemse has of course been with the Boks.

Willemse is one of three Boks who will join WP’s start­ing line-up fol­low­ing their 50-28 drub­bing of the much-hyped Sharks two weeks ago.

Sikhum­buzo Not­she will start at No 8 in the place of Jaco Coet­zee, while Wilco Louw – who is set to make his 50th ap­pear­ance for Prov­ince against their old foes – takes over from Michael Kumbi­rai at tight­head prop.

Ruhan Nel, who was called up to the Boks et-up but didn’t get any game time, will again start as out­side cen­tre.

Dan du Plessis will make his first start of the sea­son when he forms WP’s cen­tre pair­ing with Nel, while scrumhalf Her­schel Jan­tjies will get his se­cond start of the sea­son in the ab­sence of the in­jured vet­eran Jano Ver­maak.

The un­beaten WP have al­ready se­cured a home semi-fi­nal with their last vic­tory at New­lands, and need just one point to ce­ment their place at the top of the stand­ings.

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