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Stormers

This is the third in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

 

 

The Contenders:

Name: Ruan Botha:

Position Lock
Height 2.04m
Weight 113kg
Date of Birth 10 January 1992
Place of Birth Brakpan
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 2
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 5
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Ruan Botha

Ruan Botha is a product of Brakpan East Primary School and Jeugland High School.

He made his provincial debut on 31 March 2012 as the Golden Lions thrashed the Griffons 71-25 in Johannesburg. Botha started the match before being replaced in the 62nd minute by Hendrik Roodt.

His first call-up to the Lions Super Rugby team came ahead of the side’s Australian tour during the 2012 Super Rugby season. He made the starting fifteen for the first time in the match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on 5 May 2012.

Botha was named in the South Africa Under 20 team that won the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship.

He is still a young player and will be hoping to get some game time in Super Rugby 2014. He already has 5 Super Rugby caps under his belt.

The Stormers do not have quite as much experience amongst the locks as they would have liked to have and with Eben Etzebeth out injured, Ruan Botha will be hoping that his button is pushed for selection.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2010 – Valke - U18 Craven Week, South Africa - SA U18 High Performance
  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions - Vodacom Cup, Lions - ABSA Under 21 Competition, Lions - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2012 – MTN Lions - Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions - Vodacom Cup, South Africa - IRB Junior World Championship, MTN Golden Lions - ABSA Under 21 Competition, MTN Golden Lions - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – DHL Western Province - Vodacom Cup, Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province - ABSA Under 21 Competition

 

Name: Manuel Carizza:

Position Lock
Height 2.02m
Weight 118kg
Date of Birth 23 August 1984
Place of Birth Rosario
Provincial Debut
Provincial Caps 0
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 2004 vs Springboks
Test Caps 40
Test Points 5
Manuel Carizza

Manuel Carizza (born 23 August 1984 in Rosario) is an Argentine rugby union footballer.

He has previously played for French sides Biarritz and Racing Métro in the Top 14 competition and for the Argentine club Jockey Club de Rosario. He has also played for the Argentina national team. His usual position is at lock.

He made his international debut for Argentina in December 2004 in a match against South Africa, which the Springboks won by 39 points to 7. He next played for the Pumas in April 2005, where he was called up to the starting line-up against Japan. He then played in the November Tests against the Springboks, Scotland and Italy.

He was again capped in June 2006 in one of the Tests against Wales during the hosting of a two match series, which Argentina eventually won. He was capped against Chile and Uruguay in July, in the starting line-up for both games. He now has 40 international caps under his belt. There has been a lot of questions regarding his inclusion in the Stormers side. Is he there for depth or is he going to become a regular feature in this years Super Rugby.

He signed for South African Super Rugby side the Stormers for the 2014 Super Rugby season.

One has to feel that with Eben Etzebeth out injured that Manuel will be the most likely partner with De Kock Steenkamp in the lock positions.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 1989 – 2005 – Jockey Club de Rosario
  • 2002 – 2003 – Argentina Under 19
  • 2004 – Argentina Under 21, Argentina A, Argentina
  • 2005 – Argentina Under 21
  • 2005 – 2011 – Biarritz, Argentina
  • 2012 – Racing Metro, Argentina
  • 2013 – Racing Metro, Argentina

 

Name: Eben Etzebeth:

Position Lock
Height 2.04m
Weight 123kg
Date of Birth 29 October 1991
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 6
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 21
Super Rugby Points 10
Test Debut 9 June 2012 v England
Test Caps 23
Test Points 0
Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth is a product of Goodwood Park Primary School and Tygerberg High School.

On 23 November 2013 he was nominated for IRB player of the year for 2013.

He made his Stormers debut on 25 February 2012 against the Hurricanes. He was also awarded Man of the Match playing for the victorious Western Province team in the semi-final of the 2012 Currie Cup. In April 2013, he signed a deal that will keep him in Cape Town until 2016.

He was a member of the South Africa Under 20 team that competed in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship.

Etzebeth was called up to the Springbok squad for the first time by new head coach Heyneke Meyer ahead of the three match series against England in June 2012.

He made his first appearance in the second row alongside fellow debutant Juandré Kruger on 9 June 2012 at Kings Park Stadium, Durban. South Africa were victorious by 22-17. He also played in the next 2 Tests in the series as South Africa ran out 2-0 winners.

Etzebeth has gained a reputation as a fierce and uncompromising player in his first year playing at the top level of rugby union. His height and strength make him a formidable opponent, and he often breaks the defensive line with strong charging runs.

Etzebeth is a invaluable player. He gives 150% and he makes his presence felt on the field.

Until he returns from injury there will be a big void to fill.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2009 – WP - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, SA U18 High Performance - SA Schools
  • 2010 – Western Province - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – DHL Western Province - Vodacom Cup, UCT – Varsity Cup, South Africa - IRB Junior World Championships, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Western Province - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – DHL Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, South Africa - Castle Incoming Tours, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa - The Rugby Championship, South Africa - Castle Outgoing Tours
  • 2013 – DHL Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, South Africa - Castle Lager Incoming Series, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa - The Rugby Championship, South Africa - Castle Lager Outgoing Tour

 

Name: Douw Gerbrandt “Gerbrandt” Grobler:

Position Lock
Height 1.99m
Weight 112kg
Date of Birth 6 February 1992
Place of Birth Nelspruit
Provincial Debut 2012
Provincial Caps 15
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 5
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Gerbrandt Grobler

Gerbrandt Grobler went to Lynnwood Primary School, Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria and attended University of Stellenbosch (Maties) and represented the Blue Bulls at the 2010 Craven Week. He then joined Western Province, where he played at Under-19 and Under-21 level.

He was included in the Western Province squad for the 2012 Vodacom Cup, making his debut in the 42–31 Quarter Final victory over the Free State XV.

He made 3 more first class appearances for Western Province in the 2013 Vodacom Cup before being included on the bench for the Stormers’ Super Rugby game against the Cheetahs.

Grobler will most likely be seen as the last choice lock in this side. He is still quite young and made his Super Rugby debut in 2013.

As mentioned earlier that Eben Etzebeth is still injured, the other youngsters in the squad including Grobler will be hoping to get some game time and make his mark as well.

It is unlikely that he will be featuring regularly in the 2014 Super Rugby season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2010 – Blue Bulls - U18 Craven Week
  • 2011 – Western Province - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2012 – DHL Western Province - Vodacom Cup, DHL Western Province - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – DHL Western Province - Vodacom Cup, Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province - ABSA Under 21 Competition, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Michiel De Kock “De Kock” Steenkamp:

Position Lock
Height 1.97m
Weight 112kg
Date of Birth 16 February 1987
Place of Birth Williston
Provincial Debut 2009
Provincial Caps 62
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 47
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 De Kock Steenkamp

De Kock Steenkamp was born and raised in the Western Cape alongside older brother Wilhelm who went on to play for the Bulls, Sharks, Cheetahs and Force in Super Rugby. He attended Paarl Boys’ High School and matriculated in 2005 before going on to study at Stellenbosch University. Whilst there he played Varsity Cup rugby for Maties during the inaugural competition in 2008 and was a late substitute as his side lifted the trophy with a 16-10 victory over UCT.

Steenkamp was a member of various Western Province age-level groups between 2005 and 2008 and made his senior debut against the Natal Sharks during the 2009 Vodacom Cup. He got his first taste of Super Rugby the following year playing 7 times for the Stormers but had to largely make do with deputising for absent Springboks such as Andries Bekker for the next 2 years.

2012 Could be seen as a breakout year for Steenkamp. Although mainly featuring as a substitute during the Super Rugby season he provided strong cameos from the bench in place of either Andries Bekker or Eben Etzebeth and also led the Stormers line out when either of their star men were injured. He then went on to feature in all of Western Province’s games during the 2012 Currie Cup and he was a key man as they landed their first title since 2001 with a 25-19 win over the Natal Sharks.

An injury to Eben Etzebeth which ruled him out of much of the 2013 Super Rugby season saw Steenkamp become firmly entrenched in the Stormers starting side. He made 13 starts in a largely disappointing campaign for the men from the Cape and earned a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in South African rugby. This reputation was enhanced by his performances in the Currie Cup later in the year as he started every game for Western Province. It was a season in which they would again reach the tournament final, but this time they fell just short, losing 33-19 at home to the Sharks.

Steenkamp will remain in Cape Town until at least 2015 after he signed a contract extension in April 2013.

Steenkamp is a very reliable lock and consistent player and will almost certainly be one of the stating locks at the DHL Stormers in 2014.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Investec Western province - U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2006 – Vodacom Western Province - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2007 – Vodacom WP U/21 - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Maties - FNB Varsity Cup, Vodacom WP - Vodacom Cup, Vodaom WP U/21 - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Western Province - Vodacom Cup, WP - MTN test, Vodacom Western Province - British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Vodacom Stormers - Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – DHL Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – DHL Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – DHL Stormers - Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Starters:

The DHL Stormers have some picking to do in their lock division. With Eben Etzebeth still out injured they have 2 remaining experienced locks and two youngsters.

On paper the most logical selection will be Manuel Carizza and De Kock Steenkamp as starting locks and Ruan Botha on the bench till Eben Etzebeth returns from injury.

Picking a starting combination here could be tricky and very interesting.

 

The next Article in the range will deal with the Stormers loose forwards.

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