Jantjes back from leg injury

FOR rugby fans this weekend will definitely feel like the calm before the storm.

FOR rugby fans this weekend will definitely feel like the calm before the storm.

Next weekend sees the beginning of the Tri-Nations between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as the start of the Currie Cup season, which lasts for 16 weeks.

In a final round of dress rehearsals, Western Province, Lions, Boland, Blue Bulls, Free State Cheetahs, Border Bulldogs, Griquas, SWD Eagles, Griffons and the Mighty Elephants are all in action either today or tomorrow.

Despite losing a number of players to Springbok duty, Province coach Allister Coetzee has named a strong line-up for his team's game against Griffons in Welkom today at 6pm.

"We would like to ensure we maintain the positive momentum generated in this year's Super 14," Coetzee said.

"We have a number of players in the national setup and the experience they garner at that level will strengthen us as a team in the future."

It will be a welcome return to the game for fullback Conrad Jantjes, who has been out for a year after breaking his leg.

With backup fullback Jo Pietersen now playing in France, it affords Jantjies an ideal opportunity to ease his way back in to the game and the fullback berth. But Coetzee is also keen on some new faces.

"From a depth point of view, we will look to blood and develop a number of our younger players in this year's Currie Cup, whilst retaining our core available group from the Super 14," he said.

For new Lions coach John Mitchell, it's a chance to put into action what has been done on the practice fields when his side take on Boland in Wellington tomorrow.

Weekend fixtures:

TODAY - Eagles vs Griquas (Mossel Bay), Griffons vs Western Province (Welkom).

TOMORROW - Border Bulldogs vs Free State Cheetahs (East London), Mighty Elephants vs Blue Bulls (Port Elizabeth), Boland vs Lions (Wellington).