Western Province coach John Dobson says centre Dan du Plessis has the potential to play internationally after naming him in his starting XV to face the Blue Bulls on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Du Plessis had a breakthrough season in 2017, but has endured a rotten time with injuries since, including a shoulder issue at the beginning of this year.
That, combined with a shortened Currie Cup and less game time, meant the 23-year-old son of former Springbok Michael, has had his development delayed.
However, Dobson remains enthusiastic as ever about Du Plessis and was eager to give the youngster a proper opportunity to stake a claim for a chance to start in the playoffs.
‘I have been quite keen to give Dan du Plessis a start,’ Dobson said. ‘He came on in our pre-season tour against Montpellier after an injury. He was outstanding in the Rugby Challenge after a long injury. But he came on against Montpellier and didn’t get the ball, came on with about 20 minutes to go against the Pumas [in the Currie Cup] and only got the ball once.
‘I think the guy is potentially a Springbok. The sooner we get him on the field and have a good look at him, the better. I am quite excited about him, I must say. What people don’t think about Dan, and maybe it is because of his injuries, is his physicality. He is a bit like his dad, he is a madman on the field.’
If Du Plessis impresses against the Bulls, it could make Dobson’s selection for the semi-final at Newlands all the more difficult.
‘I am really excited to give him a chance,’ Dobson added. ‘Next week we will reassess and will have to see with Dan Kriel and Dan Dup and see who plays in the semi-final.’
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images