Saracens star's looking forward to facing former club Western Province at Allianz Park
PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 November 2014
2014 Matthew Impey
Saracens' Neil de Kock is looking forward to facing his former club Western Province as South Africa's Currie Cup champions visit Allianz Park on Sunday.
The Cape Town-based side, captained by South African international Juan de Jongh, are flying in to north London to face Sarries in what will be a fiercely-contested clash between two of the world’s best teams.
De Kock spent six seasons with Western Province between 2000 and 2006 and the scrum-half, who has been capped 10 times by South Africa, is excited about the match.
“Personally, I think it’s a wonderful fixture. I haven’t played in South Africa for eight or nine years, so it will be a great challenge,” he said.
“I had six and a half brilliant years at Western Province, it’s a place that is very close to my heart. Hopefully we will be able to give them a good test and a good run at Allianz Park.”
Saracens will be missing George Kruis, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt and Billy Vunipola, who have been selected in the England squad that will take on New Zealand in Saturday’s international at Twickenham as Stuart Lancaster’s outfit continue to build towards next year’s World Cup.
However, Sarries can call on England internationals Charlie Hodgson, Chris Ashton, David Strettle and Mouritz Botha, along with Scotland’s Kelly Brown and Argentina’s Juan Figallo, while Alex Goode and Richard Wigglesworth have returned from the England fold.
Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall said: “Western Province are one of the strongest sides in South Africa and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We will field our strongest possible side.”
Western Province will be bringing the Currie Cup to London following their domestic league success a few weeks ago.
It will be the first time the cup has been out of South Africa and fans will have the chance to have their picture taken with it at the game.
Tickets for Sunday’s match are on sale from www.saracens.com or call 0844 847 1876.
It is a particularly busy weekend for Saracens as they also visit Welsh side Ospreys in their second LV= Cup match tomorrow (Friday).
Sarries earned a 25-20 home win over Harlequins in their cup opener on Sunday. But assistant coach Joe Shaw said: “We will be taking a few more youngsters to Wales on Friday as we have the game against Western Province here on Sunday.”