Kobus and Luke defy rotation policy

The Vodacom Western Province coach and captain are two men who don’t buy into the dual-squad tactic.

The Cape Town side were depleted at the beginning of the season, but now that they have the momentum of four wins out of five it appears that they won’t be slowing down.

“I think that the verdict is still out on the whole rotation system,” Kobus van der Merwe told the media when asked if he was tempted to rest any of his key players.

“When the players are in the saddle, they need to keep on playing.”

Luke Watson agreed with his coach, and thought little of the demanding prospect of captaining WP in 14 consecutive Absa Currie Cup games, and possibly the two playoffs.

“I hope I don’t get rotated,” he said seriously. “For me, I can’t really rest watching the game from the sideline, I get frustrated. When you’re 22-years-old, you want to play every weekend.”

Van Der Merwe commented on the exclusion of Ross Skeate and Andries Bekker from the squad, where newcomer Francois van der Merwe continues to hold his position.

“Francois brings a new dimension to the game in terms of mauling from the line-out. It’s hard for me to say if he’s going to go far in South African rugby, as we will have to see how he fares for the rest of the season.

“He’s done a great job so far, and like I said he needs to keep playing.”

The line-outs will be a good source of possession for Province, but the loose should be far more competitive with the inclusion of Roland Bernard at openside. Captain Wikus van Heerden reverts to No 7 in this game.

“They have obviously come up with a specific plan to deal with Luke and Justin [Melck]. Bernard is more of a specialist fetcher,” said Van der Merwe.

Watson had plenty of good things to say about the Lions flanker, but is confident that WP have the upperhand, with himself, Melck and even De Wet Barry competing at the breakdown.

“Roland has the ability to do a lot of damage on the ground and we are aware of that,” he said. “But we have got quite a few contesters in that area, and it is one of our strengths.”

By Jon Cardinelli