Dobson talks up Marais' Bulls
NEWS: Western Province head coach John Dobson admits rivals, the Blue Bulls, are favourites to win the North-South derby in the opening round of this year's Currie Cup Premier Division.
WP will travel to Pretoria to take on their old foes on Friday and Dobson believes his team has been significantly weakened by Springbok call-ups and players leaving for overseas-based clubs.
"[Blue Bulls head coach] Nollis Marais should go work for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton if he thinks he can claim the underdog tag in this one," said Dobson.
"We had a hard time there [Pretoria] - we lost there in Super Rugby and we have given a whole pack of forwards away, whether it be to overseas [clubs] or the Springboks.
"They have not given away nearly as much to the national team. It is going to be a very tough game for us."
Despite losing a number of players, Dobson said he is looking forward to some of the younger players in the system making the step up to senior level. Particularly amongst the loose forwards.
"We are quite excited about Jacques Vermeulen. He was going brilliantly in the Currie Cup qualifiers in the first few games before he got injured.
"Jacques and JD [Schickerling] have always been twinned and it is nice to see Jacques come through now as a big ball carrier.
"He was outstanding for the Stormers against the Eagles in that first warm-up game, but he got injured in that game. He came back and was outstanding for us and then he got injured again. Jacques will hopefully develop into a big ball carrying loose forward.
Dobson added: "Then we got Jurie van Vuuren, who has played Super Rugby. There is also Beyers de Villiers and Kobus van Dyk from the Maties and Eital Bredenkamp."