Young gun Venter starts at hooker for WP, veteran De Jongh in midfield | Sport

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Andre-Hugo Venter. (Gallo Images)

Captain Ernst van Rhyn will rally his Western Province teammates as they travel to Bloemfontein for a key Currie Cup clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, which will be followed by a bus trip to Nelspruit to play the Pumas on Sunday.

Coach John Dobson has made just one change to the tight five that fronted up for the Stormers on Saturday against the British & Irish Lions.

Young Andre-Hugo Venter starts at hooker with JJ Kotze dropping to the bench. The 19-year-old is the son of former Springbok flank Andre Venter.

“After a bruising game against the British and Irish Lions, we are in for two traditionally difficult away games in a matter of days,” said Dobson.

“We came away from the Lions game relatively unscathed from a serious injury point of view. This next week is not going to be easy, however, it is a great opportunity for some of our youngsters to get real experience at this level, which is good for our future.”

Marcel Theunissen is brought into the starting XV to join Evan Roos and Nama Xaba in the loose trio. Both Roos and Xaba were impressive on the weekend and will be ready to once again put their bodies on the line as Western Province look to keep pace in the competition following a number of matches that have been cancelled. Johan du Toit will be able to provide fresh impetus from the bench later in the contest.

Another player who impressed against the tourists, centre Juan de Jongh, will start alongside Cornel Smit in the blue and white hoops and De Jongh’s experience will be vital against the physical Cheetahs.

Tristan Leyds makes a return to the run-on side on the wing with Leolin Zas, another who played on Saturday, on the bench. The replacements will no doubt be important with the quick turnaround to Sunday’s visit to Mpumalanga.

Junior Springbok Sacha Mngomezulu is in line for his debut after being named among the replacements.

Wednesday’s clash at Free State Stadium kicks off at 16:45.

Teams:

Cheetahs

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 David Brits, 12 Siya Masuku, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Jeandre Rudolph, 5 Jean Droste, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni

Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Jacques Potgieter, 21 Zinedine Booysen, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Chris Smit 

Western Province

15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Tristan Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Leon Lyons

Substitutes: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Simon Miller 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Thomas Bursey, 22 Sacha Mngomezulu, 23 Leolin Zas



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