Cape Town – Western Province coach John Dobson has re-iterated that Springbok Dillyn Leyds’ best position is at fullback, despite selecting him on the wing for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban.
Leyds has started the last two games for the Springboks on the wing, too, but Dobson said on Thursday that he still saw a return to the No 15 jersey for the 25-year-old.
After heavy rains in Durban this week, though, Dobson opted to bulk up on kickers in his line-up for a match that at this stage could still mathematically see WP dumped out of the Currie Cup before the play-offs.
Damian Willemse starts at fullback while Rob du Preez retains his place at flyhalf, and Leyds’ return from the Boks sees him included out wide.
“We know the Sharks are a very territory-based team with a good kicking game. We felt to have two fullbacks (in the back three) in this instance was a good thing,” Dobson explained.
“I thought Rob did well with the territory last week in Joburg and we felt for Rob or Damian to miss out wouldn’t be the right thing.
“Dillyn is a fullback and he must return there.
“But we’ve had a look at the conditions and there is going to be a heavy field, maybe some rain and a howling wind so it’s good to have good kickers.”
Dobson, who acknowledged that he was feeling the nerves ahead of the top-of-the-table Sharks, also welcomes back prop Wilco Louw from Springbok duty.
“I’d be even more nervous if he wasn’t around. I think he was outstanding for the Springboks last week so the conversation with Wilco is an easy one … he’s now an international prop so he’s got to show the class there,” said Dobson.
“I think him and Thomas du Toit is going to be an interesting battle.
“Wilco described it (his Bok debut) as the greatest day of his life and you can just feel that there is a whole lot more confidence and swagger about him now. I’m excited to see that.”
Even if Province lose on Saturday, they are still likely to make the Currie Cup playoffs.
Kick-off is at 15:00.
15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 S’bu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Tristan Blewett, 22 Kobus van Wyk
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Ruhan Nel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Jan de Klerk, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Werner Kok, 22 EW Viljoen