Cape Town - A 30-man Western Province will finalise their preparations for the upcoming SuperSport Rugby Challenge on a training camp in Hermanus this week.
Having come through pre-season matches against Boland and club sides Paarl and Tygerberg as well as some opposed sessions against the Junior Springboks, head coach Jerome Paarwater's management team will put the final touches on their preparations this week ahead of their opening SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter against SWD Eagles in East London on Sunday.
There are 12 local club players in the 30-man squad, which also includes a number of players who featured for Maties, UCT and UWC in the Varsity Cup.
Western Province have only ever lost one game in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, which was the quarter-final last year. Paarwater's management team will be looking to build on that successful record going forward this season.
The experienced Paarwater, who has served the union at every level including as Stormers Assistant Coach as well as international experience as head coach of Kenya, will be backed up by former Junior Bok assistant coach and long-time Western Province U19 mentor Nazeem Adams as backs coach.
The forwards will be under the supervision of former Western Province lock Rito Hlungwani, who was forwards coach for CPUT as they recently claimed their first Varsity Shield title and has also served as Western Province U19 forwards coach.
They will be joined on camp by defence coach Chris October, who is a former SA Schools coach and along with Hlungwani has worked closely with Adams as part of the professional age-group structures for some time. Strength and conditioning coach Naasier Parker, technical analyst Elliot Hanabe and manager Cassiem Barnes, who has served the team in every SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign, complete the Western Province management team.
Paarwater said that the squad is excited about what lies ahead of them in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
"We have some great talent at our disposal in this squad, with some quality local club players and exciting youngsters coming through our system.
"The key will be for us to connect on camp this week to build on the work we have already put in during our pre-season so that we can make a strong start to the campaign on Sunday and grow from there," he said.