CAPE TOWN – Western Province will give Jano Vermaak “as long as possible” to be ready for the Currie Cup final.
Back-up scrumhalf Paul de Wet has been all but ruled out of the title decider against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday (4pm kickoff).
WP assistant coach Dawie Snyman said at a press conference at the team’s training headquarters in a sweltering Bellville on Monday that De Wet “did his ankle” in the epic 35-32 victory over the Blue Bulls in the semi-final, and that he “might be out for this weekend”.
De Wet had scored a decisive try in the second half after replacing Herschel Jantjies, but had to leave the field towards the end, which saw wing Sergeal Petersen feed the last scrum in regulation time.
The Bulls were able to force a turnover after Petersen was unable to clear the ball from the five-metre scrum, and the visitors eventually scored an equalising try.
That is why Province are willing to give the vastly experienced Vermaak as much time as possible to get over a thumb injury, which has seen him miss the last two games.
If Vermaak is not yet ready, Jantjies is likely to continue at No 9, with Snyman adding that Justin Phillips is up for selection again as well.
“It’s been a great season for Herschel, and he has played his part when he’s been given his chance,” Snyman said.
“We have full confidence in him if he needed to do the job. This weekend (against the Bulls) he experienced a bit of pressure, and that will definitely help him.
“We’re happy with where Herschel is, but it’s not just about him, but the guys around him to help make the right decisions.”
Jantjies certainly fits into the WP attacking style of play, as he clears the ball quickly from the breakdowns and gets Damian Willemse and his backline going.
Snyman said that there were no other injury concerns after the Bulls match had gone into extra time at Newlands.
WATCH: @WP_RUGBY assistant coach Dawie Snyman feels the #CurrieCup final against the Sharks will be different to the league game at Newlands, where WP scored 50 points. Video: @ashfakmohamed @IOL #WPvSHA #CurrieCupFinal pic.twitter.com/N3KEVQ70JV