CAPE TOWN – A wider DHL Western Province training squad have been in Hermanus, preparing for their Currie Cup title defence.
Having claimed their 34th title with victory in the final against the Cell C Sharks in Durban last year, Province will be looking to extend their unrivalled record in South Africa’s premier provincial competition.
Coach John Dobson’s team will have the benefit of time to prepare for the campaign, given that it will be a single-round competition, with their season starting on August 25.
They will face the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Tafel Lager Griquas and Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands, with away fixtures against Xerox Golden Lions, Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls ahead of the play-off stage.
Dobson knows that good preparation will be key in a single round, which means that his team will have to hit the ground running in their title defence.
“It has been great to get the wider squad together, even though some may be missing at this stage, and we feel that we have laid a good platform in Hermanus.
“The single round format poses a few challenges this season, so it is vital that we ensure that everyone is on board with what we are trying to achieve in this campaign.
“On top of that it is a pretty tough draw for us with all three of our away games at altitude, so that is a challenge that we must meet head-on and with a positive mindset.
“We know that it will be extremely tough, but we have got some serious quality here and the trick will be ensuring that they are ready to go for our first game against Toyota Free State Cheetahs at DHL Newlands in a month’s time,” he said.
The Western Province wider training squad is:
Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry, Kwenzo Blose, Jaco Coetzee, Paul de Wet, Steph de Wit, Johan du Toit, Dan du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Neethling Fouche, Grant Hermanus, Herschel Jantjies, Eddie Keyter, Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Dillyn Leyds, SP Marais, Salmaan Moerat, Dean Muir, Ruhan Nel, Scarra Ntubeni, Caylib Oosthuizen, Sergeal Petersen, Justin Phillips, Marno Redelinghuys, Duncan Saal, Carlu Sadie, Ramone Samuels, JD Schickerling, Chad Solomon, Josh Stander, Luke Stringer, Tiaan Swanepoel, Kobus van Dyk, Edwill van der Merwe, Abner van Reenen, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Ali Vermaak, Jano Vermaak, EW Viljoen, Cobus Wiese.
African News Agency (ANA)