International Rugby, Springboks

Fullback ‘practice’ for Willemse in Currie Cup clash

The talented Damian Willemse is likely to start for the Springboks at fullback come the home clash against Australia, after being named at 15 for Western Province’s Currie Cup match against the Griquas this Saturday.

With incumbent number 15 Willie Le Roux returning to his English club side (Wasps), leaving him unavailable for the final leg of the Rugby Championship, Willemse is being touted to start for the Boks at fullback.

Coach Rassie Erasmus expressed intentions before the Rugby Championship started of blooding Willemse – ultimately a talented flyhalf – at number 15. Although he hasn’t as of yet, it is apparent that his plan remains, especially now in Willie Le Roux’s absence.

While Willemse specialises at ten, he has played at the back before, starting at number 15 for Western Province in last year’s Currie Cup final against the Sharks.

With Province fullback Dillon Leyds in excellent form recently, the logical option would have been to start Willemse at flyhallf. However the shifting of Leyds to the bench to accommodate Willemse at fullback points towards instructions from the international (Springbok) management.

Western Province take on the Griquas this Saturday (19:30 at Newlands), while the Springboks will host the Wallabies on September 29 (17:05 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium).


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