WP hooker suffers injury setback

Date published: July 20 2015

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Western Province hooker Michael Willemse will be out of action for eight to ten weeks, after suffering an ankle injury during his team's warm-up match with the Pumas at the weekend.

Willemse sustained a medial ligament ankle injury in the opening exchanges of the match and he will now be out of action for a lengthy spell, leaving WP short for resources at hooker ahead of the 2015 Currie Cup.

“Mike suffered a Grade Three injury,” WP coach John Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website. 

“He will be out for at least eight (up to ten) weeks.

“Hooker is a concern. 

“Our line-outs weren’t quite where they should be (against the Pumas), so we have a bit of work to do there this week.”

Willemse will not travel to Plettenberg Bay for his team’s pre-season camp, which culminates in a friendly against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, July 25.

After fielding a WP XV – including some U21 players – Dobson will select a stronger side for the EP Kings clash, with only fullback Cheslin Kolbe likely to be rested.

Fellow backs Johnny Kotze and Dillyn Leyds will not be risked after picking up niggles, but all three will attend the pre-season camp and take part in some aspects of training.

“It will be the strongest team possible against the Kings, with one or two exceptions,” added Dobson. 

“Our centre combination could be Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh, which isn’t half bad!

“Were it an Currie Cup Final I’m sure guys like Dillyn and Johnny would have been fit to play, but there is no point forcing them at this stage of our planning and risking (serious) injury.

“A guy like Cheslin has played a lot of rugby, so it’s also no point forcing him to play, but it will be great to see a guy like Rynhardt Elstadt back – he’s very important to us.”

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