UCT and Maties – the two top teams in the varsity Cup at present – will make up the bulk of the Western Province side for the Cape Town-based team’s Vodacom Cup opener against the Boland Kavaliers, in Bredasdorp, this Saturday.
Six Varsity Cup players from Stellenbosch and UCT, in all, have been named in the WP matchday squad by coach Jerome Paarwater.
Fullback Jurgen Visser, scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann and lock Rynhardt Elstadt (Maties) and centre Tim Whitehead, flanker Yaya Hartzenberg and lock Martin Muller (UCT) – all of whom have starred for their respective teams in the 2010 Varsity Cup – will line up for a strong-looking WP side that also includes players with Super 14 experience.
WP captain Hanyani Shimange – a former Springbok hooker – heads up the list of players boasting Super 14 mileage; along with Frikkie Welsh, Dylan Des Fountain, Fabian Juries, Willem de Waal, ‘Bosch ace Hoffmann and Ikeys star Muller.
No.8 Jody Burch is a former UCT player, as is Marvin Christians, whilst retreaded tighthead prop JD Möller is a Stellenbosch stalwart. Burch and Moller, of course, are too old to have played in the FNB Varsity Cup.
The Western Province team: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Conrad Marais, 13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Fabian Juries, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Jody Burch, 7 Yaya Hartzenberg, 6 Wimpie van der Walt, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 JD Möller, 2 Hanyani Shimange (captain), 1 Denzil Riddles.
Replacements: 16 Sidney Tobias, 17 Ruan Smit, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Bradley Fortuin, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Tim Whitehead, 22 Marvin Christians.