Cape Town - Western
Province have continued their build-up towards the 2015 Absa Currie Cup through
a short training camp ahead of their second pre-season friendly, this
Saturday in Port Elizabeth.
The WP squad, under the
leadership of new head coach John Dobson and captain Juan de Jongh, departed by
bus for Plettenberg Bay early on Tuesday morning with a few stops along
The first stop, of course, was
a breakfast at the Riversdale Spur, whilst also allowing the bigger guys an
opportunity to stretch their legs!
The next destination for the
squad was Vleesbaai, where the entire squad - management included - took part
in dune races, all of which counts towards the various mini-teams' points for the
week away; overall bragging rights being up for grabs as part of the squad's
team-building exercises and pre-season fitness programme.
The squad arrived in
Plettenberg Bay at about 18:00 on Tuesday, before preparations began for Wednesday double training sessions at the Plettenberg Bay Primary
The on-field sessions
started bright and early, despite the cold temperatures in Plett, with both
training spells geared towards preparing for Saturday's friendly against the
Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Backs Dillyn Leyds
(hamstring) and Johnny Kotze (ankle) did not take part in full team training on
Wednesday and will be not be risked for Saturday's match. Both, however, are
expected to be fit for the start of the 2015 Currie Cup competition.
WP coach John Dobson told
website: "Trips like this are always a great opportunity for the guys to
bond and have a little bit of fun, but with Saturday's match in PE there has
been a big focus on rugby specifics.
"We will be playing a
much stronger team this week, having given some younger guys a run against the
Pumas in Drakenstein last weekend, and, of course, Jean de Villiers will be
playing again this Saturday.
"We worked hard this
morning and in the afternoon but have been careful to not put too much of a
load on the guys. For that reason we have just one training session tomorrow,
but it will be a sharp one as it's our final full run before the weekend
(captain's run excluded)."
WP will bus to Port
Elizabeth on Friday, where they will do a captain's run at the Nelson Mandela
Bay Stadium ahead of Saturday's match against the Kings (kick-off 19:00), which
will be preceded by Absa Provincial Under-19 and Under-21 matches between
Eastern Province and Western Province at 14:00 and 16:15, respectively.
"It's a busy weekend of
games," said Dobson.
"We look forward to watching and supporting our
Under-19 and Under-21 teams against the Kings, who will be tough opponents for
us at all levels.
"We were obviously very
disappointed with last week's defeat to the Pumas, but with a more experienced
team this weekend we hope to address those shortcomings and take a big step
forward with our pre-season preparations with the start of the Currie Cup
some two weeks away."The WP
team to face the Kings will be announced on Thursday.