Coetzee's plan for Burger

Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:39
Large schalk burger thinks 630 Large allister coetzee presser44 Large schalk burger injured 630

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee hopes to 'ease back' veteran Springbok loose forward Schalk Burger through the Currie Cup competition.

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee hopes to 'ease back' veteran Springbok loose forward Schalk Burger through the Currie Cup competition.

Coetzee, who had to quickly put the disappointment of last week's Super Rugby semifinal loss by the Stormers behind him, will start Currie Cup preparations with WP on Thursday.

While a number of high-profile Stormers players will be on Springbok duty for most of the Currie Cup season, Coetzee might be able to call upon experienced players like Burger and Duane Vermeulen at some point - depending on how they recover from their knee injuries sustained during the Super Rugby season.

Coetzee revealed: "I spoke to [Bok coach] Heyneke Meyer earlier this week and he says both Schalk and Duane are in his plans, but I imagine they'd have to play some Currie Cup first to prove themselves.

"It's safe to assume that we'll definitely lose Eben [Etzebeth], Andries [Bekker], Bryan [Habana] and Jean [de Villiers] to the national team, so it would be great to have Schalla and Duane available at some point.

"Duane is not that far from taking a full part in training, whereas Schalk could be a bit longer, but we will be monitoring them both and, with a bit of luck, could have them in WP colours during the Currie Cup."

Coetzee said he has two aims ahead of the 2012 Currie Cup season - adding to the union's depth and chasing silverware in the process.

Speaking just days after the Stormers went down to the Sharks in a brutal Super Rugby semifinal clash at Newlands, Coetzee felt the Currie Cup would be a good way to re-focus his charges at this stage of the season.

"We have to move on now," said Coetzee, in reference to last Saturday's disappointing loss, adding: "The Currie Cup is a great opportunity for us to change our focus and get back on the bike, so to speak."

WP made it into the top four of last year's Currie Cup, despite some of their top players being on World Cup duty with the Springboks, but in their absence the likes of Steven Kitshoff, Nizaam Carr, Siya Kolisi, Nic Groom, Marcel Brache - to name just a few - carried the Province flag.

"We want to deliver our best on the field at all times," said Coetzee, adding: "But we also want to ensure that we continue to give our younger players an opportunity to get game time at Currie Cup level.

"It's a great breeding ground, as we saw last year with players like Kitshoff, Nizaam and Siya Kolisi - all of whom stepped up at Super Rugby level in 2012. I'm expecting guys like Skarra Ntubeni, Nic [Groom], Marcel [Brache] and JP du Plessis to get the chance in the Currie Cup to show what they can do.

"Of course, it's all about a balance - in terms of giving younger players a chance and ensuring that you keep developing your players in terms of their performances in all aspects of play."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26