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Kick-off for 2014′s Currie Cup is almost upon us with a full set of fixtures scheduled for 9 August.

Sportingbet have come to the party by pricing up a market for the overall winner of this tournament.

With that in mind, here’s our take on who has a major shot at the trophy and which sides may struggle to keep up with the pace.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Springbok and WP lock Eben Etzebeth has returned to full training ahead of the Currie Cup and Rugby Championship.

Etzebeth has not seen a single minute of competitive action in 2014 after first a foot, and later a toe injury, kept him out of the Stormers’ entire Super Rugby campaign.

After a long and arduous process he is finally nearing a return to fitness, but it remains to be seen if Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer opts to draft him into the Bok set-up immediately or allows him to get some game time under his belt with Western Province.

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DHL WP RugbyWestern Province’s preparations for their opening 2014 Currie Cup game have been hamstrung by the timing of the Springbok squad announcement which will be made in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Several Province players are expected to be named in the national squad which will play in the Rugby Championship next month and that will rule them out for Currie Cup duty.

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Vincent Jobo

Vincent “The Animal” Jobo

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have picked up promising former Western Province Under 21 and UCT loose forward, Vincent Jobo, for their Absa Currie Cup campaign and a good showing may even lead to a Vodacom Super Rugby stint for the player nicknamed “The Animal.”

Jobo had an impressive Varsity Cup last year and is one of the rising stars of Cape Rugby. The decision to move to Bloemfontein for the Currie Cup is an excellent one for him as the former King Edward VII schoolboy has fought his way through the ranks and is now being rewarded for his form.

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Thelo Wakefield and Gert Smal

WPRU President, Thelo Wakefield and Director of Rugby, Gert Smal

Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield says winning the 2014 Currie Cup is “non-negotiable” for the Capetonians.

Wakefield was left upset after the Stormers finished the Super Rugby season in a lowly 11th position – their worst effort since finishing 10th in 2009.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger still has unfinished business with the Stormers and Boks

He didn’t get what he wanted from the last game of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, which was for his DHL Stormers team to buck the trend of failure in marquee matches, but typically that did not place a massive dent in Schalk Burger’s good humour afterwards.

“I’m not going to see you guys for a while. It would be nice to have you staying over with us in Japan sometime. Get an excuse to come and write about the South Africans playing in Japan and we will be happy to host you,” was the Stormers captain’s grinning parting statement as he left the Newlands boardroom following the post-match press conference after the defeat to the Sharks.

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Tazz Fuzani

Tazz Fuzani

The Eastern Province Kings are reportedly interested in luring Western Province lock Tazz Fuzani to Port Elizabeth.

Fuzani, 23, made a promising debut for WP in last year’s Currie Cup, but appears to have fallen out of favour with WP / Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

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Bulls

Vlok Cilliers

Vlok Cilliers

Paul Willemse

Paul Willemse

Jacques du Plessis

Jacques du Plessis

News from the Bulls camp, prior to joining Super Rugby action again after the June Test break has not been so good!

Jacques du Plessis, Blindside flank of the Bulls broke his jaw in the warm-up match over the weekend against namibia and is set to miss the rest of the Bulls Super Rugby campaign.

In addition, the Bulls have confirmed that lock Paul Willemse, has signed a 2-year deal with French Club, Grenoble and they have also confirmed that the Bulls kicking consultant, Vlok Cilliers will join the WP as from July 2014.

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Patrick Cilliers

Patrick Cilliers

Brok Harris

Brok Harris

Western Province and the Stormers look likely to lose the services of props Pat Cilliers and Brok Harris.

According to reports, Cilliers is heading to French club Montpellier, while Welsh club Newport are believed to be hunting the signature of Harris.

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Gary van Aswegen

Gary van Aswegen

Western Province flyhalf Gary van Aswegen is set to join the Eastern Province Kings for a trial period.

Van Aswegen joined up with the Port Elizabeth-based team on Tuesday.

The trial period will be for one month, but if all goes well, the 24-year-old could represent the EP Kings in this year’s Currie Cup.

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Vodacom CupThe Steval Pumas, Cell C Sharks XV, GWK Griquas and Toyota Free State XV will host the four Vodacom Cup quarter-finals after the pool phase of the competition came to an exciting conclusion this weekend.

It was an exciting end to the competition in 2014, with a total of 75 tries scored in the eight pool matches at an average of just over nine per match, or one try every eight or so minutes.

While the North Section went pretty much as expected and the Steval Pumas managed the become the only team to go through their pool matches unbeaten, the last round in the South Section saw the log getting a proper overhaul following upsets in Durban and George on Friday evening.

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Newlands Rugby StadiumCape Town StadiumThe Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) is open to again discuss a possible move away from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium.

This comes after the union suspended talks in February this year after it was upset when then-Mayoral Committee Member Grant Pascoe said talks ‘were taking place behind closed doors’ to secure WP as the anchor tenant for the stadium.

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Gert SmalJohn DobsonAllister CoetzeeA new era is set to dawn on Western Province with John Dobson likely to be named Currie Cup coach, according to reports.

The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) will hold a press conference on Monday, where Gert Smal is expected to be appointed as Director of Rugby.

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Gert SmalDHL WPGert Smal is set to be installed as the Western Province director of rugby as the union prepares to overhaul the much maligned Stormers management team.

According to reports, it is understood that Smal, who is a big favourite of Wakefield and was first sounded out about the role last August, could be announced in his new position as early as next week, with Wakefield now assured of the ratification of his proposal by the board, who he says support him 100%.

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DHL WPBoland CavaliersThe Boland Rugby Union and Western Province Rugby Football Union have announced a brand new club rugby competition, the Community Challenge Club Rugby Competition.

A total of eight clubs – four clubs each from the Boland and Western Province premier leagues – will form part of the inaugural Community Challenge, which kicks off on March 1, 2014. The finals will take place on March 29, 2014.

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Gio AplonSpringbok and Stormers wing Gio Aplon’s preferred destination, if he leaves South African rugby, will be Japan, and not France, as earlier reports had indicated.

Western Province Rugby chief executive Rob Wagner has moved to dismiss reports that Aplon had signed a contract with French team Grenoble.

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Users: robzim, gunther, ufo, BrumbiesBoy, nga puhi, nortierd, grootblousmile, Stormersboy, Lion4ever, Pietman, 10 Guests, 14 Bots

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Recent Comments

  • ufo 1 Aug 2014, 09:44 SAST - sorry rob... forgot to ask... who's your pick for the trophy...?
  • nga puhi 1 Aug 2014, 09:44 SAST - nortierd wrote: 17 @ nga puhi: Hmmmm, 1993 is soooo long ago, as opposed to 1996, 1997 and 2003 when...
  • ufo 1 Aug 2014, 09:43 SAST - @ robzim: always good thanks rob... you...? a tough one to call... crusaders were awesome in their dismantilitation :wink: of...
  • robzim 1 Aug 2014, 09:36 SAST - ufo wrote: @ robzim: fair enough rob… in this instance… How are you doing? Any predictions for tomorrow?
  • nortierd 1 Aug 2014, 09:34 SAST - 17 @ nga puhi: Hmmmm, 1993 is soooo long ago, as opposed to 1996, 1997 and 2003 when your Blues...
  • ufo 1 Aug 2014, 09:34 SAST - @ robzim: fair enough rob... in this instance... :wink:

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