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BurgerCape Town – Schalk Burger may be a surprise starter against the Bulls if he comes through fitness tests this week.

SuperSport

Schalk Burger’s chances of making his return to top rugby when the Stormers travel to Pretoria next week will hinge on how he comes through training sessions planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

The Stormers captain, making his way back from a long layoff due to a knee injury, has been further set back in his comeback over the past few weeks by a calf strain that has kept him from the training field.

He missed both warm-up matches against the Cheetahs and the Boland Cavaliers, but coach Allister Coetzee has said he will make an exception to his general rule that players have to have played a warm-up fixture if they want to be considered for the Super Rugby opener against the Bulls on 22 February.

The Stormers are due to engage in an opposed session involving the Western Province Vodacom Cup side that will be refereed, and that could well be when Burger shows Coetzee whether or not he is ready to play at Loftus. Making a comeback after a year’s absence in a derby against the Bulls seems a daunting prospect, but there again, Burger has never been an ordinary player.

He is also not the type of player you play off the bench, so if he is involved at Loftus it will probably be as a member of the starting team, though Coetzee has again stressed that winning against a team like the Bulls requires 22 players and not 15.

“The situation with Schalk is positive and there has been a big improvement,” said Coetzee after a Stormers training session in Mitchell’s Plain.

Burger did not train but Coetzee said he will be ready to train on Wednesday or Thursday. His status could have an impact on who plays as the replacement for the injured Eben Etzebeth at lock, as Rynhardt Elstadt could then switch to No 4 from the No 7 jersey he has worn for most of the past year.

“Whether Schalk plays or not will have an effect on who replaces Eben at lock. There’s Don Armand who can fill that spot, Michael Rhodes is there, but hasn’t trained yet, there’s Ruan Botha (under-21 recruit from the Lions) as well. I have to make a few decisions, but Don played well there in the Currie Cup, De Kock Steenkamp is also a reliable four lock and Rynhardt is also an option.”

The smart money should be on the last mentioned as he proved an excellent partner to Andries Bekker in the 2011 season. However he appears to have lost a bit of his bulk, possibly due to his attempt to get himself properly conditioned to be more mobile on the flank. He was in excellent form against the Cavaliers last weekend.

Meanwhile Elton Jantjies slotted in well at training on Tuesday and is still the favourite to wear the No 10 jersey at Loftus, particularly as it is unlikely that Peter Grant will be back in town for a while yet.

13 Responses to Super Rugby: Schalk Burger possibly back in time to face the Bulls

  • 1

    Ja ou AC/DC, rush maar vir oom Schalk vinnig terug, laat hy sommer begin met seer knieg en al, moenie leer uit die foute met Juan Smith nie. Skryf hul sommer altwee af aan die begin van die seisoen.

    Gaan ons ‘n kompetisie begin oor wanneer die seisoen amptelik begin, wie eerste afgeskryf gaan word vir die hele seisoen ?

    Hier is die top contenders:

    1. Bekker
    2. Andries
    3. Andries Bekker
    4. Goosen
    5. Stegmann
    6. Coenie
    7. Brussow

  • 2

    Ook maar gevrek hier so.

    Hier is goeie nuus vir Bulle ondersteuners, Jan Serfontein het weer geteken, van die Bulle website af:

    The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is pleased to announce that Jan Serfontein has extended his contract with the BBC and will remain a Vodacom Bulls player in the foreseeable future.

    Serfontein is one of the brightest young stars in South African Rugby and indeed in world rugby, having being voted IRB Junior World Championship Player of the Year in 2012.

    The 19 year old midfielder has taken to senior rugby with ease and according to the BBC’s High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg; they are delighted to secure the extension.

    “We have built a very good relationship with Jan since he was a schoolboy and I am happy to see him continuing his career in Pretoria. We obviously rate his ability as a player very high, but we are also delighted to secure someone who is a wonderful team player and human being.”

    Serfontein, who hails from Port Elizabeth, said it was an easy decision.

    “Home is where the heart is and I am very happy in Pretoria. The Bulls rugby family is indeed a special one and their work ethic commendable, something I want to be part of for the next couple of years.”

    Dink hy gaan hierdie jaar nog van die bank af speel in superreeks, in die CB hy en Swys Venter of WS Smith met die oog op volgende jaar se s15. WO en Mapoe weg na die superreeks, so dan is die plekke wawyd oop.

  • 3

    Lets do some Schalk Burger jokes.

    I will start

    Schalk Burger invented every colour. Except pink. Percy Montgomery
    invented pink.

  • 4

    @ ben-die-bul:
    Juan Smith

    Ek wen!

  • 5

    2 @ ben-die-bul:
    Hey, ek is g’n gevrek nie, ek het gaan squash speel!

    Goeie nuus dat Jan Serfontein weer geteken het, die ou gaan lekker begin blom die seisoen.

  • 6

    Nouja, nou gaan ek eers vir klompie ure vrek daar oppie bed.

    Gooi Mielies BidiBiDi…

  • 7

    Schalk is very important to Alistair’s campaign and so this is good news. You need a blend of youth and experience and he has that in bucket loads.

  • 8

    Schalk the next one to permanently retire.

    A year out and still not active.

    His time and playing style has gone.

  • 9

    @ Scrumdown:
    Maybe, but he still has a lot to contribute, regardless of how many games that turns out to be. You may find that he is in pretty robust shape after taking a year off.

  • 10

    Just afraid he will be a walking yellow card as anyone who knows him is well aware he is like time bomb waiting to go off

  • 11

    @ ben-die-bul:
    Ben this is a Stormers thread please. We do not want to hear about the Bulls and the little kids they traffic and how they lure them with all sort of goodies.

    Thank you

  • 12

    11 @ Bliksem:
    Hey, who the hell do you think YOU are, to tell people what you want to hear or not… klim terug in jou kassie.

    … en beskou jouself as uitgekak!

  • 13

    @ grootblousmile:
    Overjoy I was just joking mate lol Pulling his leg Wink


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