WP without De Villiers for semis
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his side for Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final with the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.
The big news is that captain and inside centre Jean de Villiers has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and is replaced in the run-on side by Marcel Brache.
The other changes sees Gio Aplon taking over at full-back from Joe Pietersen while lock De Kock Steenkamp and hooker Scarra Ntubeni come in for injured Springbok duo Andries Bekker (toe), Tiaan Liebenberg (back) who were sidelined earlier this week.
Coetzee said he decided to leave De Villiers out as a precautionary measure after the Springbok skipper sustained the injury during a training session.
"Jean felt pain while accelerating and I don't want to risk him," he said.
"He has been sent for X-rays and scans and we will be able to confirm further once that has been completed."
While De Villiers' injury is a major setback for Province Coetzee is confident that Brache will do well as his replacement.
"Marcelle has come a long way with the team and grown a lot this season," the coach said.
"He is not a stranger to the set-up and has done well for us when he has started in previous games."
Deon Fourie, who takes over the captaincy, said although losing De Villiers was a setback he was confident of attaining success on Saturday.
"Jean offers stability, leadership and experience to any side he plays in but we still have other experienced Boks in our side which we can count on," he said.
"All the guys who are coming into the side for those experienced players have stood in for them before and most of them have experienced similar situations in the past."
Coetzee also confirmed that Liebenberg and Bekker will not return to action during 2012.
"Both Tiaan and Andries are out for the rest of the season," he revealed.
"Tiaan is out for eight weeks with a vertebrae injury while Andries has a toe injury.
"Both injuries were picked up against the Cheetahs."
When asked about facing a player like Elton Jantjies - whose excellent goal-kicking has helped the defending champions reach the semi-final - Coetzee said WP would not focus on any individuals.
"We work hard within our own system," he said.
"Our aim is to do well defensively and with ball in hand. If you focus on one quality player in a team you forget that there are other players amongst the opposition who are also good and that could be dangerous."
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Damian de Allende, 22 Joe Pietersen.