Coach John Dobson, though, explains that this was because the workload would have been too much on the 19-year-old if he had to play three games in one week.
Willemse has been drafted back into the starting XV for their clash against the Blue Bulls at Newlands tomorrow (5.15pm).
While his goal-kicking has left more questions than answers, Willemse is a threat on attack and of the rookie Dobson says: “He is the number one flyhalf at the moment.”
Willemse is one of five changes to the team, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni also making his first start after a long spell on the sidelines.
Centre Huw Jones, who also came off the bench against Griquas, will start his first match in the Streeptrui in 2017 after missing the Super Rugby season through injury.
Jano Vermaak, meanwhile, replaces Dewaldt Duvenage who took a knock against Griquas, while Jaco Coetzee comes in for Steph de Witt in the loose trio.
The final change is on the bench where lock Eddie Zandberg is in line to make his Currie Cup debut.