WP flyhalf Gary van Aswegen injured his ankle at Wednesday’s practice and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
Van Aswegen’s short career has been plagued by leg problems, and on Wednesday he succumbed to another serious ankle injury.
‘There was a collision and Gary fell awkwardly,’ said a frustrated Allister Coetzee. ‘It’s the same injury, the same ankle, that he did in the Super Rugby competition. He will go for further scans to determine exactly how long he will be out for, but that’s his [Currie Cup] season done.’
Van Aswegen is the second WP flyhalf to go down in the space of two weeks, as Kurt Coleman (broken jaw) was recently ruled out for the remainder of the season. The Cape side is also without Burton Francis, who played during the Super Rugby competition. Francis has since moved to the SWD Eagles for the Currie Cup.
What this means for WP is that outside of first-choice pivot Demetri Catrakilis, they lack an experienced No 10 option.
‘At least we have one still standing,’ Coetzee added, only half-joking before revealing who will cover Catrakilis if the situation demands it. The WP coach said fullback Joe Pietersen or even scrumhalf Louis Schreuder could move to flyhalf if worst comes to worst.
In more bad news for the Province backline, Gio Aplon has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash against the Lions. Damian de Allende will start in Aplon’s place.
Aplon watched Wednesday’s training session from the sideline while wearing a moon boot. The Springbok utility back has sustained a grade one ankle ligament tear and could be out for as many as three weeks.
In changes to the pack, flanker Tyrone Holmes will start after serving a one-week suspension. This sees Don Armand moving from blindside flank back to lock.
Meanwhile, Nick Koster may be considered for selection from next week.
WP – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Berton Klaasen, 22 Pat Howard.
By Jon Cardinelli