Western Province coach John Dobson believes Damian Willemse’s future lies in the flyhalf position and not at fullback.
Willemse has been out of action since early June after a leg injury prematurely ended his Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with the Stormers.
Speaking to the media after a training session on Monday, Dobson stated that the talented 21-year-old can be more effective when running the game from flyhalf.
‘Damian is an instinctive player who is good at taking on the line and operating in tight areas. When he’s given too much time and space at fullback, he struggles. Going forward, our plan is to use Damian at flyhalf.’
Having had game time in the No 15 jersey for both his franchise and the national team over the past 12 months, Willemse was seen by Erasmus as a potential backup for Willie le Roux in the Bok squad for the World Cup.
After being left out of the squad for the Rugby Championship due to knee surgery, Willemse is in a race against time to be match fit for selection later this month. According to Dobson, Willemse could potentially feature against the Free State Cheetahs XV in the final round of Currie Cup fixtures.
Meanwhile, Dobson said that Dillyn Leyds’ presence at 15 is valuable to the team and that his skills at fullback need to be utilised.
‘Dillyn means so much to this team. There is healthy competition among the back three with Seabelo [Senatla], Sergeal [Petersen], Edwill [van der Merwe] and SP [Marais] all available.’
Western Province clash with the Pumas at Newlands this Friday, with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi expected to return from a lengthy injury layoff. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images