Cape Town - Former Western Province youth
team prop Jean-Pierre Smith will return to Cape Town from the Brumbies in Australia
and will form part of WP's 2015 Currie Cup squad.
Smith is capable of playing at both
loosehead and tighthead prop and he will bolster WP’s prop resources during
their Currie Cup title defence in the absence of Steven Kitshoff and Frans
Malherbe, who are with the Springbok squad at present, and Vincent Koch, who is
on loan to the Stormers from the Pumas for Super Rugby only.
Twenty-five-year-old Smith is a former
Paarl Gym scholar, who has represented WP at Under-19 and Under-21 level, as
well as playing five senior matches for the Vodacom Cup team in 2010.
WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal commented:
“JP’s ability to play on either side of the scrum is a big boost for us, as Currie
Cup match-day squads are made up of just 22 (with just one prop on the bench).
“JP is a former Province man, so this is a
home-coming for him, but he would’ve learnt a lot during his spell in Australia
and we look forward to welcoming him back here next week.”
Smith - along with his brother Ruan - moved
to Australia in 2011 and made 24 appearances for the Brumbies, having made his
debut against the Hurricanes in 2014.
The 124kg front rower told the WP Rugby
website: “I’m looking forward to returning home and contributing, in some way,
to WP’s 2015 Currie Cup title defence.
“I think I have grown a lot during my time
abroad, both on and off the field, but mainly on the field where I was
fortunate to play in Super Rugby games against some tough and experienced
Smith will join up with his Western
Province teammates at training on Monday, July 13, in time for the remainder of
their pre-season training.
WP began their Currie Cup preparations this
past Monday, but they will kick-off their pre-season campaign in earnest next
week with a ‘home’ friendly against the Pumas on Saturday, July 18 at the
Drakenstein Correctional Centre (kick-off 16:00).
They will also face up to the EP Kings in a
friendly in Port Elizabeth on July 25, before their official Currie Cup season
gets underway on Friday, August 7 (v Qualifier - TBC).
Star centre Juan de Jongh will continue as Western
Province’s Currie Cup captain this season, with loose forward Nizaam Carr
serving as his deputy in 2015.
Earlier this week, new Western Province
head coach John Dobson confirmed that Dawie Snyman would work as the Currie Cup
attack coach, with Paul Treu moving into a full-time role as defence coach and
Vlok Cilliers continuing as kicking coach in a streamlined coaching unit.
“(Of course) I want to try and win the Currie
Cup, but I want a lot of players to come through and that means a hands-on approach
for us as a coaching team,” said Dobson.
“We have a young group, and we need to
bring these guys through during the Currie Cup season, as we have always done
here (at WP).
“I just cannot wait to get stuck in,” added
Dobson, who has already achieved much success for Western Province at Under-21
(since 2010) and Vodacom Cup level (since 2011). “It’s a big honour and a
privilege to coach in this vibrant union and I am aware of the responsibilities
that come with the job.”