WP VS BLUE BULLS
Province call up the cavalry to face Bulls in Currie Cup semifinal
Western Province coach John Dobson has picked all his available Springboks for Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal against the Blue Bulls at Newlands.
Damian Willemse comes in at flyhalf as Dillyn Leyds passed a fitness test after suffering a calf strain. He will start at fullback.
Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi starts with Scarra Ntubeni dropping to the bench and tighthead Wilco Louw starts again.
Although young flyhalf Josh Stander played a superb tactical game in the pouring rain at Loftus last week‚ Dobson had no hesitation bringing Willemse back at flyhalf.
"It was tough on Josh to be left out‚" Dobson said.
"But we took a policy decision to respect the returning Boks and select them.
"If you start deciding that your Springboks aren’t good enough for your team‚ you get into a tricky area in terms of player motivation.
"We couldn’t leave Dillyn out after he was passed fit which [put] players such as JJ Engelbrecht on the bench and even Dan du Plessis had to miss out. Damian is also a really good fullback and we played him there last year because we thought that was good for the progression of his career.
"But we have worked that out with SP Marais and Dillyn Leyds‚ who can come into flyhalf on second and third phase. It allows Damian to play wide and come into the attack at pace. That can be devastating.
"We don’t want Damian trapped outside nine with five forwards in front of him. It’s vital we get him into space because he is such a weapon," he said.
There is also a return at No8 for Juarno Augustus after two weeks out with a calf strain and he starts in place of Bok No8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe who has a knee injury.
Dobson was happy to leave him out this week with Augustus’ return. "Notshe could have been injected and asked to play but we thought it better to leave him out‚" Dobson said.
"Trokkie [Augustus] has been good and I’m very excited about what he can bring. This game‚ against the Bulls at Newlands‚ is tailor-made for him and his style of play."