The DHL Western Province lock horns with the Tafel Lager Griquas on Saturday (Boxing Day) at DHL Newlands, where Province will be aiming to continue with their push for a semi-final spot. The side from Kimberley travel down to the Mother City determined to clinch their first win of the campaign. Saturday’s encounter starts at 16h30.

In the only match on Sunday the Toyota Cheetahs host the Cell C Sharks in another 16h30 kick off at the Toyota Stadium in the Free State capital. Both games will be televised live on the SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby channels.

The Vodacom Bulls’ home match against the Xerox Lions – originally scheduled for Saturday (kick-off 19h00) – has been postponed to Wednesday, 6 January 2021 (kick-off 19h00), because of infections in the Vodacom Bulls’ squad.

The Vodacom Bulls’ subsequent match against the Phakisa Pumas – scheduled for two days later on Friday 8 January (kick-off 19h00) – has been pushed back two days to Sunday 10 January (kick-off 16h00) at Mbombela Stadium.

Jake White’s Vodacom Bulls outfit leads the current standings on 35 points from seven wins and just two losses in their 10 outings so far. They are followed by Gauteng neighbours, the Xerox Lions on 29 points, the Cell C Sharks (28), DHL Western Province (26), Toyota Cheetahs (21), Phakisa Pumas (12) and the winless Tafel Lager Griquas (7).

Mox Mxoli on the drive for Tafel Lager Griquas.

Mox Mxoli on the drive for Tafel Lager Griquas.

DHL Western Province have been boosted by the return of a number of key players for their Carling Currie Cup encounter with Tafel Lager Griquas at DHL Newlands on Boxing Day.

Wing Sergeal Petersen, No. 8 Juarno Augustus and prop Frans Malherbe are all fit again and back in the starting line-up for the home game against the team from Kimberley.

With Scarra Ntubeni sidelined due to a quad injury, Chad Solomon is set to earn his 50th DHL Western Province cap off the replacements bench.

Tafel Lager Griquas flank Gideon van der Merwe has recovered from injury and was on Thursday named in a reshuffled starting fifteen for their away game. Van der Merwe has successfully completed his injury recovery, from a head blow sustained in their home defeat in Kimberley against the Xerox Lions on 28 November, and returns to play in the No 6 jersey.

He comes back into the starting side and replaces CJ Velleman who is now set to come off the bench. The return of the loose forward is one of several changes to the forward pack.

The teams:

DHL Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements (from): 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Ernst van Rhyn, 25 Chris Schreuder, 26 Leolin Zas.

Tafel Lager Griquas: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Eduan Keyter, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10  Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8  Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5  Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel. Replacements (from): 16 HJ Luus, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Ewan Coetzee, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 CJ Velleman, 22 Ashlon Davids, 23 Daniel Kasende, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 Raegan Oranje.

Match information – DHL Western Province vs Tafel Lager Griquas
Date: Saturday, 26 December 2020
Time: 16h30
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Divan Uys
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby

Dries Swanepoel on the run

Dries Swanepoel on the run

The return of try-scoring winger, Rosko Specman, and the inclusion of Reinhardt Fortuin at flyhalf are two of the most significant changes to the Toyota Cheetahs side that will take on the Cell C Sharks on Sunday.

The two sides clash from 16h30 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

Specman comes in for Duncan Saal, while in an injury-enforced move, Oupa Mohoje starts at flank in place of Aidon Davids who picked up a calf injury against the Phakisa Pumas in the Mbombela Stadium.

The Cell C Sharks announced their team on Friday morning, with Sean Everitt making four changes to his starting team for their match in Bloemfontein, while Aphelele Fassi is back on the bench after a long spell on the sidelines due to injury.

The teams:

Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner (captain), 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rhyno Smith.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 John Hubert-Meyer, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Aphelele Fassi.

Match information – Toyota Cheetahs v Cell C Sharks
Date: Sunday, 27 December 2020
Time: 16h30
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Griffin Colby
TMO: Jaco Peyper
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby