Late in­jury shake-up for Prov­ince

Calf in­jury to Leyds could see Willemse get more game time at full­back against Bulls


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 SA 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.

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 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 set-up but didn’t play, 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 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. Western Prov­ince: 15 Dil­lyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel,

12 Dan du Plessis, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Her­schel Jan­tjies, 8 Sikhum­buzo Not­she, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schick­er­ling, 4 Chris van Zyl (cap­tain), 3 Wilco Louw (50th DHL WP cap), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Ver­maak Re­serves: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neeth­ling Fouche, 19 Sal­maan Mo­erat, 20 Jaco Coet­zee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Josh Stander

CHRIS RICCO Back­pagePix

DAMIAN WILLEMSE dur­ing Western Prov­ince train­ing at Bish­ops yes­ter­day. |

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