Vodacom WP coach Allister Coetzee has announced a squad of 35 players for the 2010 Absa Currie Cup season.
Vodacom WP will start their campaign this weekend, when they take on the Griffons in a SARU compulsory friendly in Welkom on Friday night.
Article courtesy www.wprugby.co.za.
Coetzee will announce his match 22 on Wednesday, but is expected to field a strong outfit in order to hit the ground running for the opener on Saturday 10 July against Free State in Bloemfontein.
With eight players out due to National duty, of which six are backline players, Coetzee will use this opportunity to blood a number of younger players.
Amongst the forwards, Buhle Mxunyelwa adds depth at tighthead. The former Border player made a few appearances in this year´s Varsity Cup for Maties and also represented Vodacom WP in this year´s Vodacom Cup.
Vodacom WP under 21 loosehead Hein van der Merwe will provide back-up to Wicus and JD. Rynardt Elstadt graduates to the senior team ranks, after showing promise in the Vodacom WP under 21 ranks in 2009, as well as for Province in the Vodacom Cup earlier this year. Whilst Elstadt has played most of his junior rugby at lock, he will add brute force at loose forward, where Province have lost the services of Burger and Louw to the Boks. Also bolstering the loose forwards is another promising prospect in Yaya Hartzenberg. The U21 back rower was part of the Vodacom Stormers pre-season preparation match against Boland and won a number of man of the match awards for UCT in this year´s Varsity Cup.
SA U21 flyhalf Lionel Cronje will take this opportunity to learn from the experienced Willem de Waal, whilst Peter Grant spends the season in Japan. Grant will return for the 2011 Vodacom Stormers season, providing the talented Cronje with playing time at a higher level.
Tim Whitehead, who gained valuable Super 14 experience this season, will look to build on his form. Joining Tim is Morgan Newman and Paul Bosch, to fill the voids left by Jaque Fourie and Juan de Jongh.
Another new face in the squad is utility back Marcel Brache. Brache was spotted in this year´s Varsity Cup, wearing the colours of UCT, and excelled at centre, wing and fullback in the Club competition. This will be his first taste of Absa Currie Cup rugby. In the wings, JJ Engelbrecht returns to the field after showing glimpses of brilliance between injury lay-offs. Fabian Juries will add pace and skill, and the versatile Johann Sadie, who has represented WP at age group level, also gets his first crack at Absa Currie Cup rugby. Conrad Jantjes returns to play after a long term injury lay-off, and as a senior man in the squad, his presence will have a calming effect on the youngsters around him.
Anton van Zyl will captain the Vodacom WP team in the 2010 Absa Currie Cup, with Dewaldt Duvenage as vice captain. The Province Springboks (Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Ricky January, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana and Gio Aplon) will only be available for selection for a possible Absa Currie Cup semi final.
Props: Wicus Blaauw, Brok Harris, JD Moller, JC Kritzinger, Hein van der Merwe, Buhle Mxunyelwa
Hookers: Tiaan Liebenberg, Deon Fourie, Hanyani Shimange, Callie Visagie
Locks: Adriaan Fondse, Anton van Zyl (Captain), Martin Muller, De Kock Steenkamp
Loose Forwards: Pieter Louw, Rynardt Elstadt, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter Myburgh, Yaya Hartzenberg, Nick Koster
Scrumhalves: Dewaldt Duvenage, Conrad Hoffmann, Louis Schreuder
Flyhalves: Willem de Waal, Lionel Cronje
Centres: Paul Bosch, Tim Whitehead, Morgan Newman,
Wings: Frikkie Welsh, Fabian Juries, JJ Engelbrecht
Fullbacks: Conrad Jantjes, Tiger Bax
Utility Backs: Johann Sadie, Marcel Brache