Province rely on Bok skipper to save their season
INJURY UPDATE: Western Province is relying on the return of Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi to help them get their Currie Cup campaign back on track.
The Cape Town outfit – is languishing in fourth place in the standings at the halfway stage of the competition, after back-to-back defeats – face the Pumas at Newlands on Friday.
Following their impressive start, with a 20-5 win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands, they slumped to defeats to the Sharks (27-32 in Durban) and the Golden Lions (28-30 at Newlands).
WP coach John Dobson confirmed that Kolisi is fit to play, having recovered from the knee injury he suffered playing for the Stormers in the latter stages of the Super Rugby competition.
Also back from injury lay-offs are utility back Sarel Marais and flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, although Marais might be given an additional week to recover from his hamstring strain.
Star wing Sergeal Petersen is also set to start against the visitors from Nelspruit.
“Our plan with Siya is to start him,” Dobson said of the returning Bok skipper.
“He will give the team a lot of confidence and that is the one thing the team needs.
“That change room was like a mortuary after the Lions game.
“Just his presence will make a big difference.”
Dobson added that Kolisi won’t captain the side.
Regular Currie Cup skipper Chris van Zyl is set to lead them out at Newlands again.
“Siya has been [training] with us for almost three weeks now.
“I am hoping he will give us a lot of confidence.”
Following their bye last week, Province is determined not to lose any more ground on the tournament leaders – Griquas (15 points after four matches( and the Lions (13 points after three matches).
Following Friday’s outing, Province has successive away fixtures against Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs – ahead of the play-offs.