Cape Town – Three Western Province Under-20 players have been named in the starting line-up for the inaugural Toyota Challenge against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
In addition to the starting trio, a further four U20 players are set to gain senior experience off the bench for the encounter with the hosts. The match kicks off at 17h30.
Speedster Seabelo Senatla will make his return from injury in the match and completes the back three alongside Tristan Leyds and Leolin Zas.
Junior Springbok flyhalf Sacha Mngomezulu forms the halfback pairing with Godlen Masimla, while Rikus Pretorius and Cornel Smit will partner up in midfield.
The loose trio will feature Marcel Theunissen, captain Nama Xaba and JJ Kotze.
U20 locks Dylan de Leeuw and Connor Evans will pack down behind a front row of Sazi Sandi, Andre-Hugo Venter and Leon Lyons.
Forwards Coach Rito Hlungwani is expecting to see plenty of energy from the young pack.
"These players are all hungry to make an impression, so we should see a big effort from them for the full 80 minutes, which is something we will need against the home side in Bloemfontein," he said.
Backline coach Dawie Snyman said that the match will serve a good opportunity to youngsters in terms of fining experience at senior level.
"We have got some really exciting players in this team along with a few more experienced guys, so we are looking forward to seeing how they feed off one another in Bloemfontein," he said.
Western Province XV: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Nama Xaba (captain), 6 JJ Kotze, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Jarrod Taylor, 20 Romauld Ntumba, 21 Simon Miller, 22 Thomas Bursey, 23 Paschal Ekeji, 24 Mambo Mkhize, 25 Litha Nkula.