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WP have a Griqua plan says rookie

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“Whoever gets a chance this weekend I’m sure they’ll give it their best shot”

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One thing that cannot be considered a bad thing if you’re a loose forward in Western Province is versatility.

Not even considering their regular Springboks, WP boast the likes of Jaco Coetzee, Ernst van Rhyn, Cobus Wiese, Johan du Toit, Nama Xaba, Juarno Augustus and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

So, it’s probably a good thing that Van Rhyn doesn’t have a favourite position as yet.

Van Rhyn’s breakdown work and overall work rate has seen him produce a few promising shifts in the No 6 jersey, but he’s also covered seven for WP, while he can also play lock.

And for the 21-year-old, it’s all about learning as much as he can at the moment.

Van Rhyn also said that Siya Kolisi’s absence will galvanise the rest of their loose-forward stocks to deliver against the Tafel Lager Griquas.

Province secured a 45-14 victory against the Pumas at Newlands last weekend, and the fixture was the Springbok captain’s first match back since sustaining a knee injury with the Stormers back in May.

He played about 50 minutes in their second-last regular-season outing, and on Monday he rejoined the Bok mix in Pretoria along with Stormers teammates Scarra Ntubeni, Wilco Louw and Dillyn Leyds. Bulls loose forward Marco van Staden also slotted into the preparations ahead of the Rugby Championship-winning Springboks’ farewell Test against Argentina at Loftus on Saturday.

“We’re not sure of the team yet, but obviously Siya brings a lot of experience and gives the pack and the team quite a lot of confidence. But ja, we’ll regroup (without him), I think we have enough depth in that department.

“Whoever gets a chance this weekend I’m sure they’ll give it their best shot,” he said.

“I feel I’m still young and I still have a lot to learn in the different departments, so I don’t think I have a favourite position yet, I’m still learning the differences between the six and the seven, at this stage I just want to play.”

Van Rhyn will have a chance to do some more learning in a rather different – and difficult – environment Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley this weekend.

While Province have made it clear that they’re prepping for a tough encounter against the SuperSport Rugby Challenge champions, Van Rhyn sounded pretty confident in the work they’ve put in until now.

“It will be my first trip to Kimberley. We know it’s tough there, we’ll put in the hard work and prepare well.

“The field is always hard and it’s dry, but we’ll put in the work on the field and make sure we have good plans.”