Western Province journeyman Tim Swiel is looking forward to this season’s Currie Cup campaign and is eager to bring a bit of swagger back to the union.
Swiel, who started his rugby journey with WP in 2013 before moving onto the Sharks, Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons, returned to where it all started in 2020.
He has since made six appearances for the Stormers and 18 for Western Province, establishing himself as an important back-up flyhalf for the union.
He will now be tasked with helping guide the new crop of up-and-coming youngsters in the Currie Cup competition, while also assisting the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship side if needed.
“It’s amazing how life works, in how it can go full circle,” Swiel said.
“It is kind of a nice mix of youth and experience in this Currie Cup, unlike the previous one which was a full-strength squad. The coaching staff has also come through the ranks which is great to see.”
An attacking brand of rugby is set to be on the cards for Western Province in the competition, which starts this weekend, with Swiel excited for the freedom to show some skill during the tournament.
“In the last week or so we have been training with a bit more freedom. In the URC defences are a bit tighter and harder,” said Swiel.
“But I have felt that the coaches are really pushing the Western Province brand for the Currie Cup. They have been pushing the ball in play, exciting running rugby from our own half, and I am excited for that.
“I don’t see this as playing Currie Cup rather than URC. I see this as an opportunity for a few of us to get that swagger back into the union.”
The Currie Cup team will, however, have to learn to balance the needs of the main URC team with their own ambitions, as a number of senior players will bounce between the two squads as needed.
“Coach (Jerome) Paarwater and Dobbo (John Dobson) have aligned themselves to give some older guys some game time and some younger guys exposure to first-class rugby,” explained Swiel.
“So having the two competitions coincide is going to test the depth of some unions and I think as a Province we are ready for that.”