Former Stormers coach Robbie Fleck will continue to assist the Western Province professional teams in a technical capacity.
Province kick off their Currie Cup campaign against the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday, 13 July at Newlands.
Head coach John Dobson and his management team have been working with a wider squad of 36 players ahead of a campaign during which they will face the Bulls, Golden Lions and Pumas at home as well as Griquas, the Sharks and Cheetahs away.
Following the league phase of the competition where all seven teams play six games each, the top four will go through to the semi-finals, with the final scheduled for Saturday, 7 September.
Dobson’s management team has not changed from last year, with Dawie Snyman (backs), Norman Laker (defence) and Hanyani Shimange (forwards) the assistant coaches once again. Riefaat Jappie will be strength and conditioning coach and Chippie Solomon the team manager, while Fleck will be assisting all Western Province professional teams on a technical basis.
There are nine players currently part of the Springbok training squad, with the likes of Dillyn Leyds, Damian Willemse, Herschel Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi all potentially available for Western Province this season if they do not travel to the World Cup in Japan, while there are others on the long-term injury list who are not expected to play a part in the single-round Currie Cup.
Dobson said that the squad is excited about the challenge ahead.
‘While there are some players missing due to injury and others like JJ Engelbrecht and EW Viljoen will be playing elsewhere after their contracts with us ended, we have a strong squad which is a testament to the depth we have at our disposal.
‘The competition format means that we have to hit the ground running next week and the players and management cannot wait to get stuck into this season,’ he said.
Dobson added that while general planning and preparation for the Stormers’ 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign has begun, the primary focus is on claiming another Currie Cup title.
‘There will always be high expectations for Western Province in the Currie Cup, which is something we embrace and value.
‘We are planning ahead to next year by refining our processes and how we go about things, but there will be no compromises made in this Currie Cup campaign; we owe that to our faithful supporters.’
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix