Cape Town - While Western Province might have plenty of young and inexperienced players among their ranks, lock Chris van Zyl says they’re still determined to chase the Currie Cup title this year.
Western Province have a young squad competing this year’s Currie Cup. The good news for John Dobson’s men is the fact that most of these players were part of the outfit that lifted the inaugural SuperSport Rugby Challenge title earlier this season.
Van Zyl, who has captained the side in recent weeks, believes they have the talent to repeat this feat in the Currie Cup.
“We do have many young and inexperienced players in the team with many of our Super Rugby players rested or on Springbok duty, but we still have the ambition to do well in the Currie Cup. I believe we have what it takes to go all the way,” Van Zyl told MyPlayers.
“We have exciting talent here at Western Province. We have always done well over the years, but we haven’t fulfilled our potential in terms of silverware. As a team, we want to win more trophies for this proud union and our supporters. The Currie Cup is another opportunity for the team to win something special.”
Western Province have experienced an inconsistent start to the season, winning home games against the Pumas and Blue Bulls, but losing on the road against Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs.
Van Zyl said the players will learn from these experiences as they aim to qualify for the playoffs.
“We’ve learned a lot from our victories and losses. We want to play to our strengths and as a team, we’re working hard to follow the game plan,” said Van Zyl. “We’re doing very well at home, especially when the Newlands faithful is behind us.
“The good news is the fact that we have four home games during our next five fixtures. We’re up against some tough teams, but we need to capitalise on our home-ground advantage if we hope to qualify for the semi-finals.”
Meanwhile, Van Zyl, who is the younger brother of former Golden Lions and Stormers lock Anton van Zyl, said his individual journey at Western Province has been a dream come true. He hopes to continue his development as a player and wants to contribute to the team’s growth.
“After spending a few years with the Lions in Johannesburg, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my professional rugby career. But I’ve cherished my time at Western Province and I’m delighted with the opportunities I’ve received at the union,” said Van Zyl.
“I’ve featured in the senior squad regularly in recent seasons, even playing some Super Rugby for the Stormers. I feel that my game has improved a great deal and it’s great to be mentored by the top coaches we have here, including John Dobson and Robbie Fleck. My goal is to continue my growth and to be recognised as one of the top locks in the Currie Cup this season.”
In their next assignment, WP host the Golden Lions at Newlands on Friday (19:00 kick-off).
15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Eddie Zandberg, 20 Steph de Wit, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Dan Kriel
15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Antony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Jacques van Rooyen (captain) 2 Robbie Coetzee 1 Corne Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Johannes Jonker, 18 Rhyno Herbst, 19 Hacjivah Dayimani, 20 Jack Hart, 21 Siya Masuku, 22 Aphiwe Dyanty