No rest for WP's Boks
Mon, 08 Oct 2012 16:14
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is set to include all seven of his returning Springboks in the team for the clash with the Cheetahs on Saturday.
The Cape side go into the final-round clash at Newlands looking to secure a semifinal spot with a win over a desperate Cheetahs side, and Coetzee said that he is not willing to take any chances.
Coetzee welcomed back Jean de Villiers, Tiaan Liebenberg, Eben Etzebeth, Andries Bekker, Duane Vermeulen, Juan de Jongh and Bryan Habana to training on Monday and Coetzee expressed confidence that all of them will be available this weekend.
"All the Boks are available," said Coetzee on Monday.
"I had a good chat to all seven guys this morning - after speaking to them yesterday too - about how they feel individually; both physically and mentally.
"They understand our objectives here at the moment. The youngsters have done really well to keep us in the hunt, but they're key players... they're Springboks, that's why we have them here with us at the moment."
Coetzee added: "Not one of them indicated any form of tiredness or not wanting to play. This is potentially our last game at Newlands for the season, hopefully not, so they must be involved.
"I also spoke to the guys about their form in the Bok side and I've been pleased with all seven guys - how they've been playing and how they've conducted themselves as WP/Stormers ambassadors at national level," he said.
The Province coach said that the situation is different from last year when he brought back all of his Springboks only to lose in the semifinal against the Lions.
"You've got to select your best possible side for the weekend. It's completely different from last year, the mindset... everything. This is a crunch game for us (this weekend), last year we had to play the Pumas and we had already qualified for the semifinals. We want to select our best possible team and ensure we qualify for the semifinals.
"It's good to have a bigger group to select from for a change and not just to fill gaps in the team," he said.
Although he has been boosted by the return of his Boks there were still some fresh injury concerns for Coetzee on Monday.
Flank Tyrone Holmes has had to have an operation on a broken nose and will be out for ten days, and it was confirmed that fellow loose forward Rynhardt Elstadt has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a rib cartilage injury.
Captain Deon Fourie and Bok skipper Jean de Villiers both sat out training on Monday with hamstring niggles but are expected to be available for the weekend whilst a question mark still hangs over Gio Aplon who has completed his rehabilitation on his ankle injury.
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