Flyhalf Peter Grant is doubtful for WP’s all-important clash with the Lions and Allister Coetzee has confirmed Percy Montgomery is the official back up.
Montgomery signed for WP and the Stormers earlier this year, and joined the Cape union following the Boks’ exit from the Tri-Nations. After four matches, Montgomery could make his long-awaited return to the WP starting side, and it could be at flyhalf.
“I have full confidence in Percy, he is a Test flyhalf,” captain Jean de Villiers told this website, alluding to the last time when Montgomery played 10 for the Boks back in 2001. “I will be there to guide him a bit and it is a position that entails a lot more responsibility, but the guy has 102 Tests to his name. I think he’ll be fine.”
Grant has been unable to train due to an ankle injury, and Coetzee said a final call on his inclusion will be made on Friday. Joe Pietersen has played flyhalf for WP this season but is already filling the void left by the injured Tonderai Chavhanga on the right wing. Chavhanga has a hamstring tear and will not be risked.
Ricky Januarie is back in the mix after missing the bout in Boland because of his wedding. Jean de Villiers has recovered from illness and will bring some creativity to the back division.
In the forwards, Adriaan Fondse makes a timely return from a rib injury, while Brian Mujati is over his arm ailment. Schalk Brits is preferred over Deon Fourie as the starting hooker.
Fondse’s recovery sees AJ Venter moving to the bench where he will cover lock and loose-forward. Coetzee has decided to include a second front row on the bench, but Fourie’s introduction at hooker later in the game could see Brits shifting to the back row.
Western Province - 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Joe Pietersen, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Wylie Human, 10 Peter Grant/ Percy Montgomery, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Subs: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 JC Kritzinger, 19 AJ Venter, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Percy Montgomery/ Gio Aplon, 22 Morgan Newman.