Some cynics might regard it as a blessing in disguise, but Fijian wing Sireli Naqelevuki is one of two injured players who are doubtful for Western Province’s Round Four Currie Cup match against the Leopards at Newlands on Friday.
Rugby365 reports that WP coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Monday that there are two serious injury concerns to deal with on Tuesday, before he can announce the team for this week’s outing.
While the coaching staff have backed the out-of-form Fijian, Naqelevuki, despite his scratchy performances, they will be far more concerned about scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage’s injury.
Both players are struggling to overcome knee injuries.
Coetzee said he does not hold out much hope that either would face the Leopards.
“Sireli doesn’t look good at all for Friday,” the coach said on Monday evening.
“We will also have a look at Dewaldt Duvenhage tomorrow [Tuesday]. Those are the two headaches at the moment.”
The coach had good news too, saying that fullback Joe Pietersen and flank Duane Vermeulen are both over their injuries and available for the Leopards game.
He added lock Adriaan Fondse will be ready for selection next week.
Asked what he would do in case Naqelevuki was ruled out, Coetzee said he has Pietersen, Frikkie Welsh and Under-21 wing JJ Engelbrecht to consider.
“All of them have been training with us and we will make the call tomorrow [Tuesday].”
Conrad Hoffmann, who was on the bench since the start of the Currie Cup season, and Springbok veteran Bolla Conradie are scrumhalf options if Duvenhage has to pull out.
The coach said he was happy that Vermeulen would be ready to give 100 percent.
“It’s the same scenario than with Francois Louw. He also came and train with us and took part in the contact sessions.
“I don’t have a problem with it [Vermeulen going straight back into the starting XV]. One should remember Duane is an Emerging Springbok, although I am very happy with how our flanks performed.
“Luke, Pieter Louw and Pieter Myburgh played well, but it is great to have a guy of the calibre of Duane back.”Tweet