The son of former Springbok back Michael, Daniel lasted just over 30 minutes of Saturday’s 36-6 Currie Cup victory over the EP Kings before being replaced by Robert du Preez.
Du Plessis was instrumental in Province’s resurgence with ball-in-hand after poor performances in their first two matches, and mixed up his play with long passes and by taking on the defence himself up the middle.
But when he left the field, WP lost their momentum and direction on attack, and laboured to their first win of the competition, and they will miss him again in Saturday’s clash against the Sharks at Newlands (5.10pm).
The 21-year-old had just returned from a shoulder injury that saw him miss the Cheetahs game at Newlands a week earlier, and his Super Rugby season with the Stormers was also hampered by a number of injuries and concussion that kept him out for a few weeks at a time.
There is no doubt that Du Plessis is an outstanding playmaker who has time on the ball and is abrasive enough to become a Test No 12, but he will hope to overcome his latest issue quickly to still form a big part of the Streeptruie’s unit later in the competition.
“Dan du Plessis is out for a couple off weeks. He’s tweaked his ACL, didn’t tear it. Rynhardt Elstadt might be another week, not sure yet with his ankle,” WP coach John Dobson said on Monday in Bellville.
“It is a pity to lose Dan as I was really looking forward to unveiling him in this Currie Cup, but he hasn’t been able to get momentum yet because of injury.
“Nizaam Carr is also out for a couple of weeks still. We’ve got EW Viljoen and Johnny Kotze (to cover centre). EW did well at centre for the Under-21s and in the qualifiers, and he’s a big boy, so he’s a good option.”
Dobson also confirmed that Kotze will remain with WP for the entire Currie Cup after weekend reports stated that he might follow in the footsteps of Jaco Taute and Kobus van Wyk and leave Province.
But there are some going the other way, and after Springbok Sevens star Werner Kok joined WP on loan, his teammate Tim Agaba is set to challenge for a place in the loose trio too.
The former EP No 8 was spotted at training on Monday, but with Sikhumbuzo Notshe the current first-choice at the back of the scrum, Agaba’s lineout prowess and powerful ball-carrying may see him line up as an ideal blindside flank.
Former WP and Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage has also returned from France, and has been training with Dobson’s squad over the last two weeks. But he will have to wait his turn as Jano Vermaak and Godlen Masimla are two excellent No 9s.
“Tim just trained with us today, so that’s obviously a loose-forward possibility, but he hasn’t played 15s since Currie Cup last year. Dewaldt has been training with us for a couple of weeks, so theoretically, they’re in the frame as far as I know,” was all Dobson was prepared to say.
Original source: Agaba, Duvenage in WP selection frame