WP boosted by Stormers regulars for Lions clash

Western Province have been boosted by the inclusion of some experience for their Currie Cup tie with the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Loose prop Ali Vermaak, lock Adre Smith and loose striker Junior Pokomela enter the starting group of forwards, having all played for the Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this year.

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Fit-again center Rikus Pretorius returns to the substitutes’ bench after recovering from a concussion that sidelined him for the past few weeks.

In defence, Ebenezer Tshimanga is relishing his first start on the wing, having made his senior debut in Western Province in the win over Pumas in Mbombela.

Western Province head coach Jerome Paarwater said he was keen to see what the new players could add to Johannesburg.

“It’s great to have the experience for this game against what will be a motivated Sigma Lions team.

“We know we’ll have to be at our best if we’re going to get another away win, so we’ll need full concentration for 80 minutes,” he said.

Western Province – 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Ebenezer Tshimanga, 10 Timothy Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Nama Xaba (c), 5 Adre Smith, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Subs: 16 HP van Schoor, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Keke Morabe, 21 Thomas Bursey, 22 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 23 Rikus Pretorius.

Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Charles P. Patton