Currie Cup

Vermelen & Rhodes return to Currie Cup training

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Western Province Currie Cup coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that forwards Duane Vermeulen and Michael Rhodes have returned to training and could play in the opening rounds of the Currie Cup.

Both players have been out of action and on injury-enforced layoffs but are now about three weeks off in terms of availability.

“It is very likely that Duane might go straight into the Springbok squad as soon as he is ready to play, but I’d like to see him play one or two games for us,” said Coetzee.

“The Bok squad will be announced in a fortnight’s time and I expect Duane to get the nod.”

Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg was still out with injury and was expected to return to training in three weeks’ time.

Schalk Burger will see a specialist on Wednesday and only then will Western Province know when he was able to return to action.

SA Under-20 and Sevens star Cheslin Kolbe suffered whiplash playing for the VC side and would be rested this week. He was in the running for the No 15 berth in the WP team.

“Cheslin has been playing non-stop for several months and he needs a break,” Coetzee said.

“His injury is nothing serious but the rest will do him good at this stage.”

Coetzee is considering using Kolbe on the wing initially and using Gio Aplon at fullback.

“Out on the wing may be a better option to blood Cheslin in the Currie Cup ,” he said.

“Gio has played so well there when called on in the past.”

Coetzee also confirmed that wing Gerhard van den Heever would be released after the season in order to join Irish side Munster.

Hooker/flanker Deon Fourie will again captain the WP Currie Cup side this season.

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