A knee injury will rule out Western Province captain Juan de Jongh for the majority of the Currie Cup, in what is a major blow for the defending champs.
De Jongh suffered a grade-two medial collateral ligament tear in Province's narrow win over the Free State Cheetahs on Saturday, and is expected to be out for eight to 10 weeks.
This will put him in a race against time to be fit for the Currie Cup play-offs during the second half of October.
‘To lose one’s captain is always a blow, but to lose someone of Juan’s ability and standing within the team is obviously disappointing for us,’ WP coach John Dobson commented. ‘We are fortunate to have a lot of options at centre, but a guy like Juan will leave a big hole given his experience and defensive abilities.’
No 8 Nizaam Carr will take over the captaincy in the absence of De Jongh.
‘Nizaam is a local lad, who has played all of his rugby for Western Province and this is a great opportunity for him,’ Dobson said. ‘He was one of our better players in the tough weather conditions at the weekend. He has been a leader within the squad for some time now and I look forward to seeing him bring the best out of those around him.’
Western Province take on the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the third round of the Currie Cup this Saturday.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images