Province considers signing Jantjies

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iol spt CA jantjies sept 11 Gallo Images FILE PHOTO: Elton Jantjies of the Lions about to kick at goal during the Absa Currie Cup match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and MTN Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Cape Town - Western Province appear to be mulling over the possibility of signing uncapped Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies.

“I’ll definitely have a media conference regarding that very soon…” WP coach Allister Coetzee said when asked about his interest in Jantjies and the possibility of matching the Kings’ offer for Currie Cup pivot Demetri Catrakilis.

“At this point in time, Demetri’s got an offer from the Kings, and it’s up to us to match it,” added Coetzee. “But I’d like to have a look at him and see how he goes before we make that call. He’s really doing well.”

Catrakilis shone for Province during their 2011 Currie Cup campaign, making his debut off the bench in the opener against Griquas after Gary van Aswegen suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Catrakilis finished third overall on the points-scorers list in just 10 starts and it came as some surprise when he was relegated to fourth place on the Stormers depth chart earlier this year, behind Peter Grant, Van Aswegen and Burton Francis.

Grant is back on club duty in Japan, Francis has moved on to the Eagles and, given Van Aswegen’s injury history, Coetzee appears to be juggling the merits of keeping Catrakilis or meeting what is believed to be Jantjies’ R1.75 million price tag.

“It’s difficult to say at this time,” said the WP coach. “Demetri is a quality player, but you have to look at budgets too. I’d like to know that we could afford him, but we’re always restricted... the cake is only so big.”

Coetzee has more immediate concerns to address after flanker Rynhardt Elstadt was ruled out for three weeks on Monday with a fractured rib.

“Three weeks is long for anyone, and our loose forward department is empty,” he said. “It doesn’t get any easier when you lose a Super 15 player. But (fetcher) Tyrone Holmes is back this weekend and so is (fullback) Joe Pietersen.”

Elstadt’s physicality will be sorely missed when Province travel to Durban to take on an overtly abrasive Sharks team on Saturday night.

Cape Argus


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