Kotze to start at 13 for WP

Date published: August 20 2015

Western Province utility back Johnny Kotze will start at outside centre in Saturday's clash with the Blue Bulls in Pretoria.

Kotze replaces the injured Juan de Jongh in the only starting change from last weekend’s hard-fought 9-3 win over the Free State Cheetahs in Cape Town.

Kotze made eight Super Rugby starts for the Stormers earlier this season (on the wing), but this will be his first Currie Cup start – having made his tournament debut off the bench two weeks ago against Griquas.

Western Province coach John Dobson is confident Kotze will do well in his new role.

“It was always our intention to get Johnny into the number 13 jersey at some point, but, of course, it has now been necessitated by Juan’s injury," he told WP's official website.

“We certainly are very excited about this opportunity for Johnny – he is a skilful and level-headed player and I have no doubt he will flourish at this level.”

There are also three changes on the Province bench this week, with Springbok squad member Scarra Ntubeni replacing Marius Fourie as the hooker replacement, Chris van Zyl taking over from Jan de Klerk as the back-up lock and Huw Jones coming in for Kobus van Wyk as specialist centre cover.

Jones will be on Currie Cup debut for Western Province, despite making 14 appearances for the Stormers this year.

“With Juan out we need cover at inside centre and Huw gives us a great option off the bench in that position," added Donbson.

“It was a tough call leaving Kobus out, but we have picked a team we believe can do the job for us at Loftus Versfeld in what should be a fast-paced encounter.”

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones.

Date: Saturday, August 22 
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Jaco Pretorius, Ricus van der Hoven
TMO: Willie Vos