WP 'will deal with setback'
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee says his beleaguered troops will soldier on despite another major injury setback.
Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became the latest Western Province Springbok to join the growing casualty list and will be out for the rest of the Currie Cup after he pulled up with a hamstring strain at training.
"Western Province captain Jean de Villiers will miss the remainder of the 2012 Currie Cup with a Grade One hamstring strain, but he is not considered doubtful for the Springboks' year-end tour of Ireland, Scotland and England next month," a statement from Western Province read on Wednesday.
De Villiers is the third WP Bok this week to be ruled out of Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.
His absence, coming hard on the heels of Andries Bekker and Tiaan Liebenberg's season-ending injuries, means WP will have to do without their first choice squad members.
But Coetzee says by now they are used to dealing with injury setbacks.
"We've had one setback after the other for some time now but we've dealt with it, and we'll deal with this setback too," Coetzee said.
"Marcel (Brache) comes in and he won't have a problem fitting in. He's played most of the season and he's really grown as a player.
"Last week he came on for 12 minutes against the Cheetahs and he's no stranger to the setup."
Coetzee also made a brave selection call at fullback where Gio Aplon has replaced Joe Petersen.
"We picked Gio because of how we want to play on Saturday," Coetzee explained.
"Gio has been our No 1 and Petersen has done well for us there in his absence."
In De Villiers's absence, flanker Deon Fourie will wear the captain's armband.
"We did not want to see Jean not being there for us because he brings so much experience and leadership to the party," Fourie said.
"We've now lost three players in a quick time and we'll have to wait and see how the incoming players step up to the plate."
Coetzee also confirmed that Bekker would be out for six weeks, while Liebenberg would be sidelined for eight weeks.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach/ Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 CJ van der Linde/Pat Cilliers, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Derick Minnie, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Butch James, 22 Deon Helberg
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Marcel Brache, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Don Armand, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Deon Carstens, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19. Jebb Sinclair, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Damian de Allende, 22. Joe Pietersen