Willemse 'has to get comfortable' at 10 and 15
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Western Province head coach John Dobson is sitting with a few selection conundrums any coach would love to have.
Defence coach Norman Laker revealed that all, but Jano Vermaak, are fully fit and available for selection.
This means that Dillyn Leyds, who was supposed to start at fullback during last weekend’s 34-7 win over the Blue Bulls, will return to the side.
The fullback’s absence resulted in Damian Willemse wearing the No.15 jersey, while Josh Stander was at flyhalf.
However, Leyds’ return could mean that Willemse shifts back to pivot for this weekend’s semifinal clash against Blue Bulls.
Willemse’s switch from flyhalf to fullback is far from a surprise as the 20-year-old has become accustomed to filling both positions when requested. The regular flyhalf even started at fullback during last year’s Currie Cup final against Sharks at Kings Park.
“I don’t really mind where I am playing at the moment, whether it’s at 10 or at 15,” Willemse told reporters.
“I think [Province flyhalf] Josh [Stander] is playing very well, so I must give credit to him.
“There is a plan going forward and I’m used to the position now I just have to get comfortable in both positions.
“There is a big difference between playing flyhalf and fullback. What I like about flyhalf is controlling the game. There is a huge responsibility on the flyhalf’s shoulders to control the game and he has to make sure his team is going forward.
“What I enjoy about fullback is playing with a bit more freedom as well as scanning and making decisions from the back. Both of them are challenging, especially being under the high ball at fullback.”
WP head into Saturday’s semifinal as favourites, however, Willemse admitted facing the Blue Bulls is always a massive challenge and he knows that the Proteria-based side will be out for revenge.
“A north-south derby, from when I was young, was always massive and for us, it is still big. Every game against the Bulls is big and this weekend it will be in front of the Newlands faithful. Both teams have nothing to lose and everything to gain,”
By Leezil Hendricks