The Western Province team to take on the touring British & Irish Lions side in Cape Town this weekend has a distinct Varsity Cup look to it.
Five players with FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International experience – from UCT and Stellenbosch – have been named in the matchday 22, along with another seven players that are attached to the Maties.
The five Varsity Cup representatives are Joe Pietersen (Maties – 2008), Morgan Newman (Maties – 2008 and 2009), Martin Muller (Ikeys – 2008 and 2009), Zandre Jordaan (Maties – 2008) and JJ Engelbrecht (Maties – 2009); proving once again just how successful the Varsity Cup has been since its inception last year.
Of course, at the same time, it is also a fantastic experience for these Varsity Cup players to feature against this famous touring side, the British & Irish Lions. The Lions tour South Africa once every 12 years only, making this fixture a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all 22 players named in the WP squad.
The ‘normal’ Stellenbosch players – non-Varsity Cup reps – in the WP line-up are inside centre Peter Grant, flanker Pieter Louw, new lock Anton van Zyl, reserve prop JD Moller, replacement lock De Kock Steenkamp, back-up scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann and SA Sevens ace Gio Aplon, who will warm the bench as backline cover.
The WP-Lions match will kick-off at 3pm – at Newlands, in Cape Town – on Saturday afternoon.
The Western Province team: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Morgan Newman, 12 Peter Grant, 11 Gcobani Bobo, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Hanyani Shimange, 17 JD Moller, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Zandre Jordaan, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 JJ Engelbrecht, 22 Gio Aplon.
Coach: Allister Coetzee
Assistant coaches: Matt Proudfoot and Robbie Fleck