Ricky gets game-time

Ricky Januarie will start for Western Province in a side that sees three debutants.

Januarie was relegated to the Stormers’ bench for the latter part of the Super 14 and only received 20 minutes for the Springboks in the first Lions Test. Coach Allister Coetzee believes Januarie will be best utilised starting.

‘People mustn’t forget what Ricky’s brought to Western province and the Stormers in the past,’ Coetzee told keo.co.za. ‘He’s a match-winner and he also brings a positivity and a great mood to the guys around him. We want to get Ricky back to where he belongs and that’s in the Bok team.’

Dewaldt Duvenhage, who has been impressive throughout the year, will sit on the bench for the encounter against the Sharks at Newlands.

‘Dewaldt was in good form in the Super 14 and jumped ahead of Ricky,’ said Coetzee. ‘But this is a different competition. Ricky hasn’t played in a while and Dewaldt is very fit so he can win us a match at the end. We know what we are getting with him and that’s why he’s on the bench.’

Recruit Frikkie Welsh will start on the wing, with Tonderai Chavhanga among the reserves.

‘When we lost Bobes [Gcobani Bobo], we were looking for a similar player who could cover No 13 and 14, as well as a player with experience. Frikkie was outstanding against the Lions for the Southern Kings, as well as for the Namibian XV against the Boks. We are expecting rain on Saturday so those conditions will also suit Frikkie.

‘Tondie hasn’t had much game-time so we are looking forward to seeing him off the bench.’

Two other new signings, Anton van Zyl and Chris Jack, will start in the second row.

‘Chris has huge experience with the All Blacks, a successful Crusaders franchise, and he’s been in Europe for two years,’ said the WP coach. ‘We had guys such as Monty and AJ Venter in a mentoring process, and Chris will continue with that.’

Pieter Myburgh and Pieter Louw will fill the void left by the injured pair of Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen. Myburgh, Louw and captain Luke Watson all play towards the ball, but Coetzee said this wasn’t an intentional ploy to boss the breakdown.

‘That area of the game is always key, especially against the Sharks. But that is not the reason we selected those three. Myburgh is back from injury and ready to go, while Louw can do the job at blindside. Luke has done well at No 8 and all the guys have prepared well for the challenge that [Ryan] Kankowski, [Jean] Deysel and [Jacques] Botes bring.’

Regular hooker Deon Fourie will be used as a utility forward reserve, with former Springbok Hanyani Shimange elevated to the substitute No 2 spot.

‘Many people say Deon should be an opensider and that battle of the breakdown will be key,’ said Coetzee. ‘You need players such as Deon in your squad.’

Western Province – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Frikkie Welsh, 13 Morgan Newman, 12 Peter Grant, 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Luke Watson (c), 7 Pieter Louw, 6 Pieter Myburgh, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Brock Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Subs: 16 Hanyani Shimange, 17 JD Moller, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Deon Fourie, 20 Dewaldt Duvenhage, 21 Juan de Jongh, Tonderai Chavhanga.

By Grant Ball