Three Ikey Tigers have been named in the Vodacom Western Province team for a pre-Currie Cup friendly in Port Elizabeth this Saturday.
There are also several Maties and Varsity Cup stars involved, such as Morgan Newman, who will line up at inside centre alongside teammate Juan de Jongh, with winger JJ Engelbrecht completing Stellenbosch’s trio in the backline.
Scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann – also a Matie, but not a Varsity Cup representative – will start in the No.9 shirt.
Ikey Tigers’ Varsity Cup star, Tiger Bax (pictured) – who played for the Stormers earlier this year – gets a run at fullback, whilst his Varsity Cup teammate, lock Martin Muller, will line up in the second row after impressing off the bench for the Stormers during the latter stages of the Super 14.
No.8 Cameron Peverett starred for the Maties’ Varsity Cup-winning squad this season, whilst fellow Stellenbosch players, No.7 Zandre Jordaan and lock De Kock Steenkamp, will join him up front.
Michael De-Neuilly Rice – another 2009 Varsity Cup representative for the Maties – finds himself on the bench, along with university mate Hayden Groepes (centre).
Aside from the presence of the various Varsity Cup stars from Stellenbosch and UCT in this WP line-up, Ikeys regular Jody Burch – who is too old for the VC – is on the bench alongside new WP signing Anton van Zyl and Super 14 scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage.
“The first choice Stormers players who played more than half of the (2009) Super 14 games will not be involved in this fixture and have been given an extra week off,” explained WP head coach Allister Coetzee.
“This game provides an opportunity to a number of our younger athletes to prove that they can provide adequate back up for the first choice players during the Absa Currie Cup.”
Of course, whilst Coetzee – a former Springbok assistant – heads up the WP coaching staff, he will be assisted during the 2009 Currie Cup by Matt Proudfoot (Pukke) and Robbie Fleck (UCT) – both of whom cut their teeth at Varsity Cup level in 2008 and 2009.
WP’s next game – after this weekend – will be against the touring British & Irish Lions on Saturday, June 13. Hopefully all the Varsity Cup players in this current side will be able to force their way into contention for a spot in what is a once-in-a-lifetime fixture.
The 2009 Currie Cup kicks-off at the start of next month and WP’s first clash is a home game against none other than the defending champion Sharks on Saturday, July 11.
The WP team: 15 Tiger Bax, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Morgan Newman, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Jurgens Visser, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Cameron Peverett, 7 Zandre Jordaan, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Martin Muller, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Hanyani Shimange (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Michael De-Neuilly Rice, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Anton Van Zyl, 19 Jody Burch, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 PJ Vermeulen, 22 Hayden Groepes.
Head coach: Allister Coetzee
Assistant coaches: Matthew Proudfoot, Robbie Fleck