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Willemse will start at fullback as Province gear up for Lions

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Damian Willemse will start at fullback in one of three changes for Western Province for their Currie Cup match against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Damian Willemse will start at fullback for Western Province against the Lions. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Damian Willemse will start at fullback in one of three changes for Western Province for their Currie Cup match against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday (kickoff 7pm).

While the starting pack remains unchanged, there are three changes and two positional switches in the backline for the Round 2 clash.

Willemse shifts to fullback to take the place of the injured Warrick Gelant, who will be out for six to eight months with the knee-ligament tear he sustained in their opener against the Bulls at Newlands.

Tim Swiel, who has come off the bench to provide cover at flyhalf since rugby returned, will start at No 10 this weekend and form the halfback pairing with Godlen Masimla, who rotates with Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies.

There’s also some change in midfield, with Ruhan Nel starting at outside centre alongside Dan du Plessis, who moves to No 12. Rikus Pretorius, who has been the starting inside centre for the Cape side this domestic season, moves to the bench.

Also back among the replacements are lock David Meihuizen, flank Marcel Theunissen and scrumhalf Paul de Wet.

Province head coach John Dobson said that an 80-minute performance in Johannesburg is going to be crucial.

‘We know that we will have to be at our best for 80 minutes this weekend if we are going to get the result that we are looking for,’ Dobson said.

‘We have prepared well for this game and everyone is looking forward to the opportunity to show what it means to us to play for Western Province.’

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Bench (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Jaco Coetzee, 25 Kade Wolhuter, 26 Rikus Pretorius.

@WynonaLouw