Western Province get early Christmas present as stars return

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Western Province have been bolsteredd by the return of a number of star players for their Currie Cup clash with Griquas at Newlands on Boxing Day.

World-Class players return for WP

Western Province have faltered in recent weeks but have some big match players returning as they prepare to host Griquas the day after Christmas.

Wing Sergeal Petersen, Number eight Juarno Augustus and prop Frans Malherbe have passed fit and return to John Dobson’s starting line-up for the home game against the team from Kimberley, which kicks off at 16:30 on Saturday.

Among the backs centre Dan du Plessis and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies are also back in the starting XV after featuring off the replacements bench in the win against the Pumas a fortnight ago. WP had a bye last weekend allowing them to steel themselves for a final push at Currie Cup glory.

There are also several changes among the forwards with Augustus and Malherbe joined by flank Johan du Toit, locks JD Schickerling and Chris van Zyl and hooker Bongi Mbonambi in the starting pack.

Dobson has recently backed Schickerling to make his presence felt in a bid to be considered for Springbok honours.

Hooker Scarra Ntubeni is sidelined due with a quad injury, which means that Chad Solomon is set to earn his 50th DHL Western Province cap off the replacements bench.

Western Province Head Coach Dobson said that following their bye last week, his team cannot wait to get out there at Newlands on Saturday.

“We welcome back a few key players this week and after spending some valuable time with their families last week, they are all well-rested and ready to give it everything.

“We know that it will take a focused and sustained effort for 80 minutes if we are going to get the result we want and our team is certainly up for the challenge,” he said.

Western Province Team vs Griquas – Currie Cup

Western Province Starting XV: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements (from): 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Ernst van Rhyn, 25 Chris Schreuder, 26 Leolin Zas.

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