Cape Town - The signs that Schalk Burger’s return to the playing field could be imminent were strengthened when he joined his Western Province team-mates in training at the High Performance Centre in Bellville on Wednesday, reports the supersport.com website.
It was announced a few weeks ago that the Springbok flank and Stormers captain would be able to return to gym after shaking off the after-effects of the meningitis that forced him into ICU over Easter as well as the other injuries that have kept him from the playing field over the past year. However, WP assistant coach Robbie Fleck confirmed that Wednesday’s appearance at training was his biggest outdoor session yet as he prepares to launch his comeback.
“Schalk is training hard and he is being put through his paces by fitness adviser Stef du Toit. This was the longest session so far and he is really positive about his progress,” said Fleck.
“He looks on course for a return to the playing field in the second round of the Currie Cup but we are not putting any pressure on Schalk and there is no pressure on us from his side either. We will take it as it comes and hope for the best. Obviously having him involved is a huge boost to WP as he has experience and is so highly respected by all the players.”
Deon Fourie, appointed as skipper for the Currie Cup season, backed up Fleck’s contention that having Burger present was a positive for the team.
“He has a lot of experience and it rubs off on the other players. He has really been missed during his absence,” said Fourie.
WP tackle the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday. Kick-off is at 19:15.
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Pat Howard, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Michael Rhodes, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Gerbrandt Grobler, 19. Rohan Kitshoff, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Ryan Nell
Free State Cheetahs
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo (captain), 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. John-Roy Jenkinson, 2. Hercu Liebenberg, 1. Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16. Ethienne Reynecke, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. Teboho Mohoje, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Willie du Plessis, 22. Piet Lindeque