Western Province will be without the services of Dewalt Duvenage and Sireli Naqelevuki for their Currie Cup clash against the Leopards at Newlands on Friday.
Rugby365 reports that scrumhalf Duvenage and wing Naqelevuki both suffered knee injuries in the match against the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands last week, but their enforced absence is hardly a cause for concern as Province have adequate replacements in Conrad Hoffmann and Frikkie Welsh respectively.
On the plus side the injury list in the Province camp is shrinking and this week they welcome back star flank Duane Vermeulen and fullback Joe Pietersen. Next week, another big gun in lock Adriaan Fondse, is expected to return to the playing field to make his 2009 Currie Cup debut.
Hoffman is a wonderfully gifted footballer and there have been indications that Province have thoughts of converting him to flyhalf sometime in the future, but for now he’ll be required at the base of the scrum.
Springbok Bolla Conradie, who has shown a willingness to force his way back into the picture, will provide cover on the substitutes’ bench.
Pietersen’s return will add more punch to the side’s counter-attacks and generally his positional play behind his
three-quarters, is better than Gio Aplon who has done reasonably well in the past two games.
Vermeulen selects himself and it looks like Pieter Myuburgh and Francois Louw will be the loosies to miss out as Pieter Louw is having an outstanding season on the basis of his high workrate and presently counts among the top flanks in the competition.
The winless Leopards, who have conceded more than 100 points after three matches, should not cause Province too many problems but, moreover, the match should give Province coach Allister Coetzee an excellent chance to settle all the key combinations.
On the leftwing Welsh will be backed up by the young 20-year-old Matie flyer JJ Engelbrecht, whose name conjures up memories of the legendary Jannie Engelbrecht, the Province and Springbok hero in the 1960s.
Of course, the most pleasing aspect of this Province side is its vastly improved scrummaging ability and the performance of rookie centre Juan de Jongh, who is shaping up as a fine prospect for the future. On the basis on his form, Emerging Springbok Morgan Newman will battle to regain a place in the run-on XV.
However, the promising De Jongh will be uneasy about his future at Newlands since the news broke that Province will be breaking the bank to enlist the services of the in-form Springboks Jaque Fourie and Wynand Olivier next season, to offset the loss of Jean de Villiers.Tweet