WP prepare for a Bulldozing

Vodacom Western Province have named four changes for the semi-final game at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.

Gerrie Britz’s inclusion on the flank is the biggest surprise, with Justin Melck preffered to come on in the second half. Robbie Diack and Francois van der Merwe also make a welcomed return to the pack with young Francois Louw and the injured Selborne Boome bowing out of the squad completely.

In the backs, Gio Aplon’s return at fullback forces Joe Pietersen onto the wing at the expense of Egon Seconds. For the first time in a few weeks WP coach Kobus van der Merwe has opted for a four-three split on the bench, whereas in previous games the extra tight-forward reserve was preffered.

“Gerrie has done enough this season to claim his spot in the starting side,” Van der Merwe explained. “He is also a very physical player and the added bulk will be useful against the Bulls’ pack. He also provides an extra option in the lineout.”

While Van der Merwe assured reporters that this is his first choice team, he explained that a few things could change if Werner Greeff does not get through tomorrow’s captain’s run. Greeff is currently carrying a knee injury.

“Werner trained today but the final call of his inclusion will only be made after tomorrow’s session,” he said. “If he cannot play, we may even readjust our bench and bring an extra forward into the squad.”

WP: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Werner Greeff, 11 Joe Pietersen, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Gerrie Britz, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller. Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Justin Melck, 20 Paul Delport, 21 Sarel Potgieter, 22 Egon Seconds.

Referee: Marius Jonker.

By Jon Cardinelli