Bok call-ups a big blow for Province

2012-08-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has been tested at all levels this week in preparation for his team’s Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.

Duane Vermeulen and Juan de Jongh have been called up to national duty, leaving JP du Plessis and Jebb Sinclair in the starting line-up.

Du Plessis will start at centre while Sinclair will cover at number eight.

“It is always a big blow to have these quality players being called-up, but we do always aim to produce Springbok players among us,” Coetzee said.

“It is a little disruptive in planning for the game as they are here one minute and then gone the next, but we have to be good enough to prepare against a quality side like the Blue Bulls.”

Deon Carstens starts at prop, which will see Baby Bok prop Steven Kitshoff coming off the bench and offering fresh legs at the breakdown, and as backup in the front row.

Debutant Helmut Lehmann will be among the reserves and will be adopting a similar role and style, complementing Jebb Sinclair at number eight.

“Lehmann is almost a carbon copy of Sinclair in his specific style of play, so it’s an easy choice for us to include him in our team,” said Coetzee.

The other change sees the elevation of another player, Siyabonga Ntubeni, into the hooker position.

Ntubeni is returning from short stints on the sidelines last week, whilst Brok Harris will be warming the bench again, making an impact at tight head.

The only other change among the replacements is the inclusion of Damian de Allende and Nic Groom, while Deon Fourie will cover at flank for the injured Siya Kolisi, who has been ruled out for the season after breaking a finger.

The hosts — who are fifth on the log after three games — will take a lot into the match as they know what game the Blue Bulls will bring after having thumped the in-form Sharks last week in Pretoria.

“We know that any stage we have to perform well against a Blue Bulls side on any given day, but I back my players and know we have what it takes to beat them,” Coetzee said.

“This is a very important game and it’s a home game for us, so we need to play a lot better than we did last week and I’m sure we’re going to do that.”

Kick-off is at 7.10 pm.

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