The WP squad, under the leadership of new head coach John Dobson and captain Juan de Jongh, arrived in Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday, before preparations began for Wednesday’s double training sessions at the Plettenberg Bay Primary School fields. Wednesday’s on-field sessions started bright and early, despite the cold temperatures, with both training spells geared towards preparing for Saturday’s friendly against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Backs Dillyn Leyds (hamstring) and Johnny Kotze (ankle) did not take part in full team training on Wednesday and will be not be risked for Saturday’s match. Both, however, are expected to be fit for the start of the Currie Cup competition. “Trips like this are always a great opportunity for the guys to bond and have a little bit of fun, but with Saturday’s match in PE there has been a big focus on rugby specifics,” said Dobson.
“We will be playing a much stronger team this week, having given some younger guys a run against the Pumas in Drakenstein last weekend, and, of course, Jean de Villiers will be playing again this Saturday.
“We worked hard this morning and in the afternoon but have been careful to not put too much of a load on the guys. For that reason we have just one training session tomorrow, but it will be a sharp one as it’s our final full run before the weekend (captain’s run excluded).”
“It’s a busy weekend of games. We look forward to watching and supporting our Under-19 and Under-21 teams against the Kings, who will be tough opponents for us at all levels.
“We were obviously very disappointed with last week’s defeat to the Pumas, but with a more experienced team this weekend we hope to address those shortcomings and take a big step forward with our pre-season preparations with the start of the Absa Currie Cup some two weeks away.”