Western Province turn to Stormers


Western Province have beefed up their tight five for tonight’s Currie Cup clash against the Pumas in Nelspruit at 7pm.

With the Stormers having a break and only playing on May 21 again, WP coach Jerome Paarwater brought in tighthead prop Neethling Fouche and lock Ernst van Rhyn to help Province break a seven-match losing run.

The duo will add some much-needed experience to a tight five that includes Helderberg Rugby Club hooker Jacques van Zyl and Durbell’s lineout thrower HP van Schoor on the bench.

While van Zyl played for WP in the first round of the tournament, Van Schoor (a former Puma and in line to make his WP debut) recently returned from playing in Russia after the war with Ukraine broke out.

Coach Paarwater included another possible debutant on the bench, with former Wynberg Boys star winger Ebenezer Tshimanga earning a call to the big team after playing for the U20s.

Of the additions in the tight five, Paarwater says: “It’s huge for us. It’s where we were struggling recently – especially at tighthead.

“Neethling has been doing well in the URC and with Ernst scrumming behind him with the weight… we needed guys like that.”

With WP and the Pumas kicking off the action tonight, the unbeaten Free State Cheetahs will host the Sharks at 2.30pm tomorrow, while the Bulls and Lions lock horns at 5pm.

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