Currie Cup

WP's four-way scrumhalf battle

2015-07-10 09:32
Jano Vermaak (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Jano Vermaak's arrival in Cape Town has given Western Province a selection headache as the Currie Cup season approaches. 

Louis Schreuder and Nic Groom shared the Super Rugby load admirably in 2015, but were never going to threaten the likes of Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach for a place in the Springbok squad.   

As a result both Groom and Schreuder are around for the Currie Cup.

Godlen Masimla, meanwhile, had an extremely impressive season at Vodacom Cup level. The 22-year-old has earned himself a reputation as one of the brightest scrumhalf prospects in the country, and this year's Currie Cup would have been an ideal platform for him to start taking strides towards playing at the highest level. 

But that seems unlikely now after the arrival of Vermaak from Toulouse in France. 

The three-Test Springbok is 30-years-old, and his experience and pedigree will surely launch him to the top of the pecking order. What that means for the other three remains to be seen, but Vermaak is relishing the opportunity to get cracking. 

"There are quality scrumhalves. Nic Groom and Louis ... they've been around for a while and they know what it takes to play at the top level," said Vermaak. 

"For me it's just about establishing myself first. Hopefully I'll play a couple of games and hopefully I can be an asset to the attacking rugby I want to play in the Currie Cup."

Western Province defence coach Paul Treu was quick to point out that the selection headache was not his but coach John Dobson's, though he did offer his thoughts on how it might all pan out.  

"I think that what we'll try to do over the next two weeks, especially with the first two practice games, is just to see how we can get Jano into the system as quickly as possible," said Treu. 

"He's slotting in quite nicely. He's done well. The intensity ... I think we're happy with that.

"You'll probably see a lot of integrated trainings where we have attack and defence combined, because that is the reality of our game. Our nines will play a crucial role in helping us organise our defence."

Western Province play their first pre-season friendly on August 18 in Franschhoek against the Pumas. 


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