Cape Town - Western Province are believed to be in a race against the Blue Bulls for the services of Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane.
The Free State tighthead, who made his fourth Test appearance in the 55-6 demolition of Scotland, has long been on Province’s shortlist.
With Brok Harris and Pat Cilliers set to leave after the Currie Cup - the former joining Newport in Wales and Cilliers off to Montpellier - WP will be hoping not to get beaten out by the Bulls for Nyakane’s signature.
Aside from perennial off-field issues, a placid scrum is arguably chiefly to blame for the fact that WP’s senior teams have produced one Currie Cup trophy and zero Super Rugby titles since 2002.
Nyakane, 25, may be a raw talent but - at 1.78m and 125kg - he is a powerful athlete who would provide Frans Malherbe with a stiff challenge for the No 3 jersey - and Province with rare quality of depth in a critical position.
Nyakane’s representatives told the Cape Argus that he has yet to make a decision. The official deadline for opening talks with players coming off contract is on Tuesday.