De Villiers to play 40 minutes

The plan is for Jean de Villiers to play at least 40 minutes of Western Province’s Currie Cup warm-up game against the Pumas this Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

De Villiers made his comeback from a serious knee injury on Saturday, playing the final quarter of the Springboks' game against the World XV.

Having shown no ill-effects since then, De Villiers took full part in WP’s training session on Monday, and will start against the Pumas at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre this weekend.

WP coach John Dobson said De Villiers had arrived in very good spirits.

‘He’ll start the game at 12, which is ahead of schedule because he was initially going to come off the bench, but the World XV game went better than expected. He won’t captain, though, because it’s important for him just to focus on his own game. This is also just a warm-up game, and Jean said he hasn’t played a Province warm-up game for 12 years, but he’s very keen.’

De Villiers is expected to also feature in Province's second warm-up game against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth, with the aim of then returning to Test rugby against Argentina during the latter stages of the Rugby Championship.

Meanwhile, Dobson said former Springbok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak had settled in well with WP.

‘Jano has been brilliant, he’s training hard and he’s going to push our scrumhalves that we already have here. I’ve never coached him before, but he’s enthusiastic and a leader. I think he will be massive for this team.’

Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis