Boks to boost Western Province against Blue Bulls
Undefeated Western Province will be boosted with the return of several Springboks for this weekend’s final Currie Cup Pool match against the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Saturday.
The defending champions only need a point from their final fixture to secure first place on the standings‚ which would secure a home final if they progressed that far. A home semi-final was guaranteed with a 50-28 win over the Sharks two weeks ago.
Non-contracted Boks such as utility back Damian Willemse‚ tighthead prop Wilco Louw‚ hooker Bongi Mbonambi and No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe will all be in the selection mix this weekend.
There is also a chance some of the contracted Boks such as flank Pieter-Steph du Toit. Lock Eben Etzebeth‚ prop Frans Malherbe and Bok skipper Siya Kolisi could be released for the play-offs. But that is a decision for another week.
Assistant coach Dawie Snyman stressed that the team’s approach wouldn’t vary even though they are safely into the semis when they take on the Bulls this weekend.
“It doesn’t matter what points we needed before going to Loftus‚ we just want to improve and put in a good performance in so we can maintain momentum‚” Snyman said.
“Having all our non-contracted Boks available won’t be a problem for the team because these guys have all played in the Currie this year and they are used to how we play and what we do.
"But we do have guys who have doing well and it’s important to keep momentum.
“We’ve managed to maintain our performances and standards because the players understand their roles. They are good players and come into the mix knowing what to do.”
The Springboks have recently used Willemse‚ who was the Stormers’ starting flyhalf throughout the 2018 Super Rugby campaign‚ as fullback. It’s a role he could be asked to perform for WP although Snyman insisted that the coaches were weighing up all the options.
“Damian has played fullback for the Boks but we haven’t decided where he will play for us. He is a special player and he gives us options and variations with his ability‚” Snyman said.
“The Bulls have quietly had a good Currie Cup and they could have beaten the Sharks earlier in the season. They will want to put on a good performance for their home crowd as well.”