Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee says the physical state of Juan de Jongh and Michael Rhodes will be assessed in London on Friday as the team prepares for a clash with English club, Saracens.
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Captain De Jongh and flank Rhodes are expected to play in the friendly clash on Sunday, but Coetzee is still uncertain about their condition, as both played two games for the Barbarians in the past week.
The duo will join the rest of their WP team-mates in London on Friday and will then be assessed by the WP medical staff.“I will finalise the starting line-up tomorrow because I need to see what the condition of Juan de Jongh and Michael Rhodes is,” Coetzee told Sport24 during a media briefing at WP’s High Performance Centre in Bellville on Thursday.
“I made contact with them last night. They should be fine. But Juan de Jongh is a player that has played in both (Barbarians) games over 130 minutes. And that’s something one has got to have a closer look at when we're there."
Meanwhile, new front row signings - hooker Bongi Mbonambi and props Vincent Koch and Wilco Louw - will make their WP debuts on Sunday.
Coetzee said the trip to London gives the trio a great opportunity to bond with their new team-mates and get used to the team's systems.
"It's great to give youngsters an opportunity on tour as well because we will be going on tour in Super Rugby next year, so it will be great to expose players on tour... and also the new recruits."
Saracens are currently second in the Aviva Premiership standings after six matches, three points adrift of leaders Northampton.
Sunday's clash at Allianz Park kicks-off at 15:00 (SA time) and will be televised live on SuperSport One.
Likely Western Province starting team:
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Jurie van Vuuren, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Michael van der Spuy, 24 EW Viljoen