Lions’ opponents square up

Two of the South African sides due to face the Lions in 11 months time go head-to-head in the ABSA Currie Cup this Saturday. [more]

Lions’ opponents square up

Two of the South African sides due to face the Lions in 11 months time go head-to-head in the ABSA Currie Cup this Saturday.

While the Springboks are in Wellington for their Tri Nations opener against the All Blacks, Western Province host the Cheetahs at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

Both sides play the Lions within a week of each other during the 2009 summer tour, with the Cheetahs the first to tackle Ian McGeechan’s men on June 6 and Western Province taking their turn on June 13.

The reigning Currie Cup champions, the Cheetahs currently sit in second place in the standings as one of only two unbeaten teams, while their opponents on Saturday are just two places below them in fourth spot.

Western Province are currently coached by former Springbok Rassie Erasmus, a flanker who made his international debut in the Third Test victory over the Lions on July 5 1997.
 
“Because we know so much about the Cheetahs I’ll say that it is going to be an intriguing clash,” said Erasmus.

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“Because of the new laws there is so much to look out for at the line-outs. It’s going to be a real battle and it could get scrappy. There’s so much to look out for before deciding what the opponents are going to do before the ball is thrown in."

Western Province vs Cheetahs:

 
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Dylan des Fountain, 12 Gcobani Bobo (captain), 11 Wylie Human, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Alastair Siegelaar, 8 AJ Venter, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Myburgh, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Wicus Blaauw.

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Francois van der Merwe, 19 Justin Melck, 20 Paul Delport, 21 Isma-eel Dollie, 22 Morgan Newman.
 
Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Hendrik Meyer, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Chris Rossouw, 9 Neil Powell, 8 Schalk van der Merwe, 7 Hendro Scholtz (captain), 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.

Replacements: 16 Jaco du Toit, 17 Phillip Lemmer, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Fabian Juries.

Match facts

Now just 59 points short of over-hauling André Joubert in fourth place in the overall Currie Cup points-scoring stakes, Western Province fly-half Willem de Waal is also the early-season favourite to end 2008 as the leading points-scorer in South Africa’s premier domestic competition. If De Waal achieves that feat, it will be the fifth time in a row that he has ended the season as the top points-scorer in the Currie Cup.

Brothers Francois and Flip van der Merwe of Western Province and the Cheetahs respectively are set to oppose each other at lock, should Francois come on as a replacement on Saturday. The Van der Merwe’s are the sons of former Bok strongman Flippie who played six Tests in the 1980s.

Round 3 fixtures
 
Friday, July 4
 
Boland Cavaliers v Wildeklawer Griquas
Lions vs Valke
 
Saturday, July 5
 
Western Province vs Cheetahs
Blue Bulls vs Sharks

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