Griquas hooker joins WP ranks

Vodacom Western Province have secured the services of hooker Tiaan Liebenberg earlier than expected, and may play him at Newlands this weekend.

Even with Hanyani Shimange ruled out due to Springbok commitments and Huia Edmonds at less than 100 percent, WP coach Kobus van der Merwe seems reluctant to start the SA U19 hooker Deon Fourie against the Valke. Instead, it seems likely that the burly No 2 from Kimberley will fill the gap.

“When we learned that we would probably be without Shimmie [Shimange] for the remainder of the season, we decided we would try and secure his services a little earlier,” Van der Merwe told Superrugby.co.za. “Griquas are not really in the race for Currie Cup semifinal places, so we made a deal with them and they agreed to let him go earlier.”

The 114kg, 1.89m hooker has continued the strong form that he displayed in the Vodacom Super 14, and should benefit the WP side considerably in the scrums. He has the edge over his Australian teammate Edmonds in this regard, and so may be employed as a starter against a very physical Valke pack.