Planet Rugby

Province yet to decide captaincy

15th October 2013 08:11

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Jean de Villiers WP CC 2011

Leadership: Jean de Villiers

Western Province boss Allister Coetzee admits the captaincy remains open despite Jean de Villiers returning to the side.

De Villiers, the South Africa captain, was a replacement last weekend in the 17-13 win over the Sharks in Durban that secured top spot for the reigning Currie Cup champions.

Regular captain Deon Fourie has starred for the team at flanker throughout this year's tournament as Province take an unbeaten record into the semi-finals.

"We don't see it as a conundrum but a bonus that we have the national captain in our side as well," said Coetzee.

"One must decide on the team firstly. Deon has earned his place in the team and has led the team really well up to now.

"We have sufficient leaders in our squad, which is so needed in play-off matches, players like Schalk [Burger], Duane [Vermeulen] and Jean to help Deon.

"What was pleasing for me was how our Springboks settled into the team and came up with big performances. They really stood up for us."

Fitness doubts for this weekend's match against the Lions at Newlands include Springbok centre Juan de Jongh who is "50-50", whilst Fourie, Duane Vermeulen and De Kock Steenkamp will all be fit despite missing training on Monday.

"It's that time of the season where the workload has taken its toll and you don't want players to train and then come Saturday they're tired," added Coetzee.

"You want them fresh on Saturday and that's the challenge for us this week, to make sure the players are able to play at the same intensity they played with last weekend and even better.

"[Juan] at this point in time is still 50-50.

"He was doing some individual testing [today] and we'll put him through some more tomorrow [Tuesday]. By Wednesday we'll have a good indication as to how he is. We'll take as much time as possible to make the decision.

"The most important game for us is this weekend's game.

"Finishing top of the log doesn't mean that you play in the Final, what it implies is that we've done the hard work, but this weekend is the most important one for us."

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Currie Cup 2013
Currie Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Western Province1037
2Sharks1033
3Cheetahs1026
4Golden Lions1026
5Blue Bulls1017