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South African Super Rugby Franchises
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Stormers2012 Saw the Stormers topping the table in the round robin, only to lose out to the Sharks in the semi’s. 2013 Will be a big year for the boys. With almost the whole of the young 2012 squad still available and the coaching staff remaining unchanged (unlike the very disruptive 2012 start), this side has every chance of going all the way this year. Add to the squad the likes of Burger, Cilliers, Rhodes, Taute and Jantjies, depth in every position looks so much better.

After a season that saw the likes of Schalk Burger, the Captain and Talisman, receiving a season ending injury very early on, the team had a very authoritative start, as a result of some very sound defence, they went on to crash out in a very unspectacular way at  the end of the competition. However, the squad, players and coaching team matured and learned from their foray into the cauldron of Super Rugby, which will stand them in very good stead for the new campaign. Injuries throughout the season to key players forced Allister Coetzee to bring many youngsters into the firing line, and generally, apart from gaining invaluable experience, many of these players have gone on to be invaluable to the team. I speak of the likes of Etzebeth, Kitshoff, Kolisi, Ntubeni and DeAllende amongst others.

With strong contenders in the South African conference for the 2013 in the form of the Bulls, Sharks, and Cheetahs, 2013 is by no means going to be easy. Coupled with the fact that they start their seasons with two away games to the Bulls and the Sharks, the boys have a mountain to climb, but these two matches will certainly show how well they have prepared and will be a very good indicator of the season ahead.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts, I will be as biased as possible and will in no way apologise for my one sided stance through the next few articles where I will attempt to give you as much invaluable information as possible to help sway you to go out and buy that new hooped Stormers shirt to don with pride as you watch the other unions try, and fail as they attempt to keep up with the Mountain Goats. So without further ado, I give you the first instalment – Props.

 

Stormers Props – enlarged squad 2012

 

Steven Kitshoff

HEIGHT 183 cm

WEIGHT 114 Kg

BIRTH DATE 10 February 1992 – Age 20

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Loosehead Prop.

“He benches 180kg’s. He can run 40 meters in 5.1 seconds. He represented WP at Craven week 2009 & 2010. Known as the Red Shark, he is a good scrummager, likes the contact, devastating on attack and has good hands. It is his second year in the Stormers squad and is a definite possibility for Springbok rugby.”

I wrote this for the previous Stormers squad review. Whilst the lad was lambasted from various quarters, he has proved his detractors wrong with some very impressive showings against seasoned campaigners in the 2012 season. Steven has grown in stature, strength and ability through the season, and although still only 20, is a seasoned campaigner for the Stormers. This kid will go on to get stronger and become one of our best scrummagers sooner rather than later.

 

Deon Carstens

HEIGHT 183 cm

WEIGHT 115 Kg

BIRTH DATE June 3, 1979 – Age 32

Super Rugby Debut – Sharks – 2001

Loosehead Prop

He is a versatile player who can cover either side of the front row, but now prefers loosehead prop. He has represented the Sharks 62 times at Super Rugby level and 60 times in the Currie Cup. In April 2010 it was announced that Carstens had agreed to join the Saracans FC for the 2010–2011 season. He returned to South Africa and joined the Stormers in 2012.

A stalwart in the 2012 season, and an able replacement for Kitshoff when on Junior international duty, being rested or from the bench, Deon will continue his support role in 2013 in the twilight of his career.

Juan (Brok) Harris

HEIGHT 183 cm

WEIGHT 118 Kg

BIRTH DATE 22 February 1985 – Age 26

Super Rugby Debut – Stormers – 2007

Tighthead Prop

 

Brok, is the grafter in the Stormers pack. A work horse that gives you everything. An uncompromising player, who, will probably never be the hardest scrummager in the land, but by the same token, never let you down. Plays at tighthead, but will move across if needs be, as he did during the last season.

A solid season during 2012 saw Brok both coming off the bench and starting matches during the season. Will be up against it in 2013 with Malherbe and Cilliers in the squad, but the depth at tight head at the Stormers has never looked better.

 

Jozua Francois Malherbe (Frans) Malherbe

HEIGHT 190 cm

WEIGHT 124 Kg

BIRTH DATE 22 14 March 1991 – Age 20

Super Rugby Debut – Stormers – 2011

Tighthead Prop

A former SA schools player 2009, he represented Western Province at Craven Week 2009 whilst also Captaining of Paarl Boys High in that same year.

An up and down season in 2012, saw Allister Coetzee coming to his rescue as he was demoted to the tweezer brigade, saying that coming off the bench, would provide great impact for the team. His season culminated in a call ups to the Springboks.

 

Now a seasoned player with the Stormers, he will be required to be on top of his game for the 2013 season, and will be fighting for a place with new boy Pat Cilliers.

Pat Cilliers

Patric Cilliers

HEIGHT 186 cm

WEIGHT 113 Kg

BIRTH DATE 03 March 1987 – Age 25

Sharks 2007

Lions 2011

Stormers 2013

Tighthead Prop

One of the new Stormers squad, Pat will certainly boost what has been one of the Stormers achilles tendons for a long time. An outstanding season with the Lions saw him receive a call up from Heyneke Meyer to the Springboks. A very mobile prop, he will be expected not only to anchor the scrum, but to be solid in defence too. Having followed a pretty decent education at a pretty decent school, Pat continued his career at the Sharks before joning the Lions in 2011.

Pat’s move to the Stormers is a permanent move, having signed a long term contract, unlike the likes of Jantjies, who is on loan from the Lions.

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