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Catrakilis starts for Province

02nd October 2013 13:05

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Demetri Catrakilis kicking style

Starts: Demetri Catrakilis

Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his team for Saturday's Currie Cup clash with the Golden Lions at Newlands.

Half-backs Louis Schreuder and Demetri Catrakilis will start in the backline, whilst fit-again flanker Rynhardt Elstadt returns at seven, which sees Michael Rhodes shift back into the second-row where he began the Currie Cup season.

Schreuder and Catrakilis come in for Nic Groom and Kurt Coleman, respectively, with Rhodes replacing youngster Tazz Fuzani in the four jersey. Scrum-half Groom and fly-half Coleman will warm the bench this week, but lock Fuzani drops out altogether with loose forwards Schalk Burger and Josh Katzen continuing amongst the replacements.

Burger last week made his return to action after almost 18 months on the sidelines with a series of injuries. Burger's 20-minute impact in Bloemfontein - as WP won 29-27 - was plain to see and he could now make his first appearance at Newlands since February 2012, whilst WP U21 skipper Katzen looks to win his third senior cap in as many weeks.

In two changes to the bench from last week, prop Frans Malherbe could make his first Currie Cup appearance of the season - having recovered fully from a long-term ankle injury - whilst Ryan Nell joins the bench as a backline replacement as WP revert to a regular four/three (forwards/backs) split.

Province, the defending champions, remain the only unbeaten team in the 2013 Currie Cup. A victory over the Lions will see them secure a home semi-final - a week before the end of the league phase of the tournament.

"We're playing for a home semi-final this weekend, so it's important that we get it right and play with more accuracy and not just in spurts," WP coach Coetzee told www.wprugby.com.

"The Lions have a helluva attacking mindset. You have to look after your ball because if you don't respect it, you won't see it for quite some time," he added.

"We had an opportunity earlier this season to come away from Ellis Park with maximum points. Unfortunately we didn't, but we're back at DHL Newlands this weekend where we've lost only once this year (in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup) and we want to ensure we keep it that way."

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (capt), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Schalk Burger, 19 Josh Katzen, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Ryan Nell.

Date: Saturday, October 5
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 BST, 12:00 GMT)
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Stuart Berry

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