Bok duo back for Cats
3 Apr 2006
Springboks Ashwin Willemse and Andre Pretorius could make a dual Vodacom Super 14 comeback for the Cats against the Reds at Ellis Park this coming weekend, backline coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed.
Although it is likely the pair will only be introduced off the bench, it is indeed a massive fillip for a team that will be trying desperately to put an unsuccessful overseas tour behind them with a win in front of their home fans. “Andre played for the Vodacom Cup side this weekend and I heard good things,” Coetzee told keo.co.za from his home in Port Elizabeth where he was enjoying some much-deserved time with his family.
“He also kicked a couple of conversions which is great if we are to get back to winning ways against the Reds. We are definitely thinking of getting him and Ashwin back into the mix this weekend,” Coetzee said.
Pretorius’s return will be especially welcome in Cats circles with the loss of the Bok No 10 as well as Nel Fourie a bitter blow for the Johannesburg-based outfit in the early rounds of the Super 14. Although Tiaan Snyman has stepped up with enthusiasm, his inexperience was cruelly exposed on tour.
Willemse did not take part in the Vodacom match (which the Lions drew 24-24 with Griquas in Kimberley) and has been nursing ankle and knee injuries for the better part of two years, but could get a run in a match the Cats simply have to win if they don’t want to see their season disappear down the drain. Willemse last played Super Rugby more than a year ago.
“Ashwin could also come on off the bench. It is great to have key players returning and have home ground advantage for the next few matches. It will make a huge difference to our fortunes because the spirit is still good,” predicted Coetzee.
By Andrew Hollely