Cape Town - Western Province have been boosted by the return of a number of players from injury and Springbok duty ahead of their Currie Cup semi-final against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Centre Juan de Jongh and hooker Bongi Mbonambi re-joined their team-mates on Monday, having both featured for the national side against the All Blacks last week.
Prop Oli Kebble, lock JD Schickerling, scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage and centre Huw Jones have all recovered from injury and will also be available for selection in Pretoria.
Springbok locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit and centre Damian de Allende were not released to play.
Western Province coach John Dobson welcomed all the returning players back as they set about trying to defy the odds in the North-South showdown.
“I have seen the odds and we have been written off everywhere for this game. There is no pressure on us, nobody expects us to win, they are playing in front of their home crowd with the favourites tag,” Dobson told the WP Rugby website.
Dobson is expecting a physical approach from the Blue Bulls, with a lot of high kicks to test his team’s aerial skills up on the Highveld.
“We know it will be physical, we are expecting a traditional Bulls onslaught more than a Lions-style approach from them.
“It would only be natural with the size of their pack of forwards that they will look to physically beat us. I do expect contestable kicks and a physical approach.
“We are expecting it to rain contestable kicks up there, we have been working on our catching skills and how we are going to play off them, which has probably been one of our major focuses,” he added.
Saturday’s semi-final at Loftus Versfeld is scheduled for 18:00.