Burger could tackle Cheetahs

Mon, 23 Sep 2013 18:05
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Springbok flank Schalk Burger could return to action in Western Province’s clash with the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.

Springbok flank Schalk Burger could return to action in Western Province’s clash with the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.  

Burger, along with prop Frans Malherbe, trained with the squad on Monday and is touch-and-go ahead of the trip to Bloemfontein.

“He’s looking very eager and it’s good to have him [back]. He has a wealth of experience and you can see a sharpness in the team when he’s about.

"When he talks, the players respond, so it’s good to have him back,” Western Province forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot said of the Springbok stalwart.

“He’s been with us for a couple of weeks, sitting in, listening and giving advice, so he’s been there in ‘spirit’ but to have him out on the park is great for the team.     

“He’s back to full team training so it depends how he and Frans go during the week. If it looks good we might play them, if it doesn’t we’ll give it another week. It could be like that for three weeks or it could be like that for next week.

“There’s no expectation. It’s about how they progress and how good they feel. He’s telling us, ‘listen I feel good’ or ‘no, it’s still a bit tight’ or ‘no, I’m not comfortable in contact’ so it’s literally how he feels and how Frans feels.

“They’re going to scrum tomorrow and it’ll be very important for Frans to go through that and to see how his ankle responds and how Schalk’s calf responds to that and we’ll try to get some live stuff in because it’s important to see how they respond to that.”

In further good news for the defending champions, captain Deon Fourie and utility forward Michael Rhodes are back to full fitness and will bring invaluable experience to the pack.

Utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt and flyhalf Gary van Aswegen remain on the injured list for another week, but Proudfoot believes they have adequate depth to extend their unbeaten run on Friday.

He suggested that Rhodes would slot in at blindside flank and hinted that stand-in skipper De Kock Steenkamp would be rested, with young locks Mthetheleli Fuzani and Gerbrandt Grobler starting to come into their own at Currie Cup level.   

“Rynhardt [Elstadt] has left a bit of a hole there [at blindside flank], so we’ve got to look at seven. I think Rayn [Smid] for a first-capper did really well coming in so late. He attacked really well and his line-out work was pretty good but I’d like to see some more physicality there,” said Proudfoot.  

“Tazz’s [Fuzani] progression was good. He played a bit longer [against Griquas last Friday] and we’re looking to push that. He’s getting more comfortable in our systems.

“He’s good in contact and his physicality is good, so we’re building a bit of depth there, which allowed us to rest De Kock today. He’s played all the rugby, so we gave GG [Gerbrandt Grobler] an extended run at five to build some depth there.”

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Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1