Things are looking positive with Demetri
Springbok and Western Province centre Juan de Jongh is set to make his first Currie Cup appearance of the season against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee on Monday welcomed the return of De Jongh, who has been released from the Springbok squad, but warned that his Currie Cup comeback would be a tough challenge.
“Getting any Springbok back is always a big boost and I’m sure Juan is looking forward to getting on to the field again,” said Coetzee.
“It’s going to be a hell of a test [for him], it’s not just a matter of Juan coming in now and everything is hunky dory. He hasn’t played with this team, so he has to catch up on a few things but I’ve got no doubt being a Springbok and quality player like he is that he’ll slot in seamlessly.”
Coetzee said the defending champions have just two slight injury concerns following their 15-14 home win over the Cheetahs at the weekend.
Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen took a hard knock to the shoulder and outside centre Pat Howard is struggling with a tight hamstring but both backs are expected to be available for the Round Three clash.
“We’ll assess Gary tomorrow with semi contact and Wednesday with full contact and see how he responds. There’s an element of doubt, but at this point he’s definitely not ruled out for this weekend,” said Coetzee.
Should Van Aswegen be ruled out, Kurt Coleman, Tim Swiel and Under-21 playmaker Michael van der Spuy will be in contention for the No.10 jersey.
Coetzee added that Demetri Catrakilis (shoulder), who was initially ruled out for five to six weeks, is in his fourth week of rehabilitation and is making steady progress.
“Things are looking positive with Demetri. He will be joining our video sessions this week and team training next week. We’ll obviously manage him and if he can take full contact he’ll be available,” said Coetzee.