Rassie puts in Willemse request with WP

Damian Willemse (Gallo Images)
Damian Willemse (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Damian Willemse will start at fullback for Western Province in Saturday night's Currie Cup clash against Griquas at Newlands. 

And, according to coach John Dobson, that was a request that came right from the top in the form of Springbok head coach and director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus

Dobson could very easily have kept faith in Dillyn Leyds in the No 15 jersey given that the 26-year-old has been in good form so far in the competition, but with Wille le Roux unavailable for the home Tests against Australia and New Zealand, the Boks must field a new fullback. 

Willemse emerges as a likely option given that Erasmus, since the beginning of the Rugby Championship, has been keen to see him run out at fullback. 

"We received a very courteous request," Dobson was quoted as saying on Netwerk24.

"We used him at fullback in the Currie Cup final last year and he did very well."

Dobson added that he expected Willemse to take a lot of ball as first receiver too, allowing him to show his capabilities at flyhalf. 

Leyds, meanwhile, will play off the bench. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30.

WP team:

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Dan du Plessis, 22 Dillyn Leyds

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