Elstadt back for Western Province

Date published: October 13 2015

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Western Province head coach John Dobson has named his team for Friday's Currie Cup semi-final clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Full-back Cheslin Kolbe, winger Seabelo Senatla, centre Johnny Kotze, flanker Rynhardt Elstadt, lock Ruan Botha, prop Steven Kitshoff and hooker Bongi Mbonambi all return to the starting XV this week.

Skipper Juan de Jongh will lead the defending champions into battle in Pretoria, partnering Johnny Kotze in midfield, with Senatla, Dillyn Leyds and Kolbe forming a razor-sharp back-three.

Nic Groom and Robert du Preez will combine at half-back, with experienced scrum-half Jano Vermaak back on the bench after missing WP's last two matches with a groin strain.

Prop Oli Kebble has shaken off an ankle injury to be named on the bench, where he is joined by lock Chris van Zyl – who, like Kebble, started last Friday's 45-14 win over the EP Kings at Newlands.

"Having players like Rynhardt and Jano back in our 22 is a big boost for us, given that they’re both experienced players who have played in games of this nature before," WP boss John Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website.

"Our average (matchday squad) age is just over 23; Dillyn Leyds, Johnny Kotze, Rob du Preez, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Wilco Louw, Mikey Willemse, Jurie van Vuuren and Huw Jones are all playing in their first-ever Absa Currie Cup semi-finals – so any additional experience can only help those players and, of course, the team on the whole.

"We have had a short week, but it's been a sharp one as we look to take on a Blue Bulls team that has been excellent at home this season and, thus, deserving of hosting a home semi-final."

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (c), 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones.

Date: Friday, October 16
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-of: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Pro Legoete

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