Ikey Tigers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, the leading points-scorer in the 2011 Varsity Cup tournament, could make his debut for Western Province in Saturday’s Vodacom Cup quarterfinal meeting with the Sharks XV at Newlands.
Catrakilis – who won Man of the Match in this month’s final against Tuks, as UCT picked up their maiden Varsity Cup title – has been bracketed alongside Kurt Coleman in the No.10 shirt.
Coleman is in line to warm the bench for the Stormers – also against the Sharks, on Saturday – should Peter Grant not recover from a knee injury to start at flyhalf.
If Grant is ruled out, Lionel Cronjé will start at No.10 for the Stormers, with Coleman on the bench; leaving Catrakilis to make his provincial debut with his Ikey Tigers halfback partner, Nic Groom, already set to start at scrumhalf.
Such a scenario would be well deserved for Catrakilis who had a superb debut Varsity Cup campaign for the Ikeys; scoring 136 points – including 16 points in the final – and also impressing with his kicking out of hand and deadly defence.
Other familiar faces in the WP line-up are Marcel Brache (fullback), Tim Whitehead (replacement centre) and Hilton Lobberts (replacement forward) – all members of UCT’s Varsity Cup-winning squad – whilst Stellenbosch stars Tertius Daniller (No.8) and Alistair Vermaak (loosehead prop) also featured in this season’s Varsity Cup.
Elsewhere in the Western Province team, backs Danie Poolman, JJ Engelbrecht and Johann Sadie (all Maties) have Varsity Cup winners’ medals from years gone by, whilst Siya Kolisi and Quinn Roux were both part of UCT’s pre-season squad.
Of course, the WP coach is John Dobson – adding even more Varsity Cup flavour to Province’s Vodacom Cup campaign; a season which has seen them go unbeaten thus far.
The Western Province team (v Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup): 15 Marcel Brache, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Kurt Coleman/Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Wimpie van der Walt, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 JD Moller (captain), 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Tim Whitehead.