With Super Rugby 2012 done and dusted, coaches and players alike have not even had a moment to take a breath; the Currie Cup starts this Friday with not even a weekend’s rest for those of us who managed to reach the final of Super Rugby.
We’re right back into the swing of things. The Sharks have just traveled 50 000 km or something ridiculous like that and it seems that most of the players who were involved in the final, but have not been selected for the Boks, will also look to start this year’s Currie Cup season off with a win against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.
Of the players who have not been selected to do international duty in the Rugby Championship, or gone back to their French Clubs, or gone to Japan for 6 month contracts, or are out with an injury, only twelve remain and of these twelve, only two will get a rest this weekend. Charl McLeod and Anton Bresler ran out in all 19 games the Sharks played this season and both men will be given a rest this week, with Peet Marais and Cobus Reinach stepping into their positions.
Plenty of young players are set to get opportunities during this Currie Cup season as Heyneke Meyer has decided to keep his 30 man squad, not releasing any players for provincial teams, unlike previous years. The extension of the Tri Nations to the Rugby Championship that will in effect be the Quad Nations, as Argentina joins the competition, will force provincial coaches to put their trust in their young players for most if not all of this year’s Currie Cup. Gouws Prinsloo, Cobus Reinach, Sbura Shithole, Lubabalo Mtembu, Peet Marais, Jandre Marias and Monde Hadebe look set to get a lot of game time this season.
A few experienced campaigners remain to guide the youngsters through the season. Riaan Viljoen looks set to be the man to take responsibility of the vacant flyhalf position, although Meyer Bosman was another that was mentioned that could also step in if needed. It’s unclear how many of the players that were in Hamilton last week will be used in the starting line-up for this weekends match, but it looks like most of them will be used in some way, at least one of them will be captain, but Plumtree was closed lipped as to who it might be and will announce this later in the week with the rest of the team.
There has also been talks that Plumtree will not be coaching the team this Currie Cup, this was confirmed in a manner of speaking as the coach announced that he will only be with the team for a few games before taking a break for a while, temporarily giving the coaching responsibilities over to his assistant coaches, Grant Bashford and Hugh Reece-Edwards.Tweet