Preview: Golden Lions v Western Province

Date published: September 30 2015

The Golden Lions will look to continue their incredible unbeaten run in the Currie Cup when the host a resurgent Western Province at Emirates Airline Park on Friday.

The Lions go into the fixture having picked up a bonus point from each of their eight games except for two. Last weekend, Johan Ackermann's men travelled to Bloemfontein and enjoyed an impressive nine-try rout of the Cheetahs.

Meanwhile, Western Province are coming off a big win of their own, as they put 50 points on the Pumas at Newlands last weekend.

The big news for the visitors is that stalwart Juan de Jongh is back to lead the men from Cape Town. The centre suffered a knee injury in August in a match against the Free State Cheetahs and is almost back to his best, as head coach John Dobson revealed.

"Medically, he has 40 minutes in him and we intend to control his game time, which is one of the reasons why we have decided to start with him,” revealed Dobson. 

“Like I said earlier in the week, he is our team leader and everyone looks up to him, so his leadership and experience are also big reasons as to why he is starting."

Another key replacement comes at fly-half with Kurt Coleman having recovered from a calf strain. The tall number ten replaces Dimitri Catrakilis, who has been released from Western Province to fulfil his duties with French Top 14 club Montpellier.

Scrum-half Nic Groom regains the number nine jersey while Dillyn Leyds has been bracketed with pocket rocket Cheslin Kolbe and Kobus van Wyk at full-back and wing respectively. Dobson is expected to make a call on Leyds on Friday.

Finally, Oli Kebble and Jurie van Vuuren and Huw jones all revert back to the bench.

For the Lions, Dylan Smith replaces Jacques van Rooyen in the front row, while Julian Redelinghuys starts at three.

Unfortunately, Ruan Combrink's knee injury will require him to undergo surgery on Wednesday. Anthony Volmink steps up to replace him on the wing. 

Sampies Mastriet and Stokkies Hanekom earn places on the bench for the Lions.

Prediction: While this is the first time the sides have met each other this season, it is hard to see a travelling Western Province defeating a Lions team firing on all cylinders. Lions to win by 13! 

The teams:

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Stephan de Witt, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Albertus Smith, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Sampie Mastriet

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe/Dillyn Leyds, 14 Dillyn Leyds/Kobus van Wyk, 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 Chris Cloete, 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 Godlen Masimla, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones

Date: Friday, October 2
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.30 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Jason Jafta, Lourens van der Merwe