IN CONTROL: Damian Willemse. Photo: CHRIS RICCO/BACKPAGEPIX

Damian Willemse will be back in the No.10 jumper in Sartuday’s north/south derby between Western Province and the Blue Bulls at Loftus (5.05pm). 

Having played fullback while at the Springboks during the Rugby Championship, Willemse had one match for WP in the Currie Cup at fullback. 

But coach John Dobson believes he is one of the best flyhalves in the country and for that reason he selected him in this position. 

Willemse, in for Josh Stander, is one of three returning Springboks that will start the match for WP – the others are prop Wilco Louw, who will play in his 50th match for the province and Sikhumbuzo Notshe who comes in at No.8. 

Of Willemse’s return at 10, Dobson says: “There was no imperative from SA rugby and the way [fullback] Dillyn [Leyds] has been outstanding, [it wasn’t a difficult decision to make]. 

“I agree with the experiment of Damian at 15, but to me he is one of the best 10s in the country.

“Josh [Stander] has got a couple of contusions and has played pretty much every game, so it wasn’t actually that hard.” 

WP’s other returning Springbok Bongi Mbonambi has been given the week off, with Scarra Ntubeni continuing to do duty at hooker. 

Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw , 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Josh Stander.

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