The DHL Western Province squad has been hard at work in preparation for the 2019 Currie Cup, which kicks off against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands on Saturday, July 13.
Head Coach John Dobson and his management team have been working with a wider squad of 36 players, ahead of a campaign that will see them face the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions and ISG Pumas at DHL Newlands, with away games against Tafel Lager Griquas, Cell C Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs.
Following the league phase of the competition which will see all seven teams play six games each, the top four will go through to the semifinals, with the final scheduled to be played on Saturday, September 7.
Tickets for the opening game of the season against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands on Saturday, July 13 are now available online from wprugby.computicket.com or any Computicket outlet.
Dobson’s management team has not changed from last year, with Dawie Snyman (Backs), Norman Laker (Defence) and Hanyani Shimange (Forwards) the assistant coaches once again. Riefaat Jappie will be Strength and Conditioning Coach and Chippie Solomon Team Manager, while Robbie Fleck will be assisting all DHL Western Province professional teams on a technical basis.
There are nine players currently part of the Springbok training squad, with the likes of Dillyn Leyds, Damian Willemse, Herschel Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi all potentially available for DHL Western Province this season if they do not travel to the World Cup in Japan, while there are others on the long-term injury list who are not expected to play a part in the single round Currie Cup.
Dobson said that the squad is excited about the challenge that lies ahead of them.
“While there are some players missing due to injury and others like JJ Engelbrecht and EW Viljoen will be playing elsewhere after their contracts with us ended, we have a strong squad which is a testament to the depth we have at our disposal.
“The competition format means that we have to hit the ground running next week and the players and management cannot wait to get stuck in this season,” he said.
Dobson said that while general planning and preparation for the DHL Stormers’ 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign has begun, the primary focus is on claiming another Currie Cup title.
“There will always be high expectations for DHL Western Province in the Currie Cup, which is something we embrace and value.
“We are planning ahead to next year by refining our processes and how we go about things, but there will be no compromises made in this Currie Cup campaign, we owe that to our faithful supporters,” he said.
DHL Western Province squad: Juarno Augustus, Kwenzo Blose, Craig Barry, Jaco Coetzee, Paul de Wet, Johan du Toit, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Neethling Fouche, Corne Fourie, Liam Hendricks, Michael Kumbirai, Dan Kriel, Wilco Louw, Godlen Masimla, Chris Massyn, SP Marais, David Meihuizen, Salmaan Moerat, Ruhan Nel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Sergeal Petersen, Justin Phillips, Marno Redelinghuys, Ramone Samuels, Carlu Sadie, JD Schickerling, Seabelo Senatla, Chad Solomon, Josh Stander, Edwill van der Merwe, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Jano Vermaak, Ali Vermaak, Nama Xaba.