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Herewith the DHL Stormers squad members and contenders for Super Rugby 2013:

 

Props:

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.

 

 

Hookers:

Deon Andre Fourie

HEIGHT 177 cm

WEIGHT 100 Kg

BIRTH DATE 25 September 1986 – Age 25

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2008

Hooker

Deon Fourie, who has explosive pace, made his Super rugby debut in 2008. Apart from a few injury problems, Deon has had a phenomenal season, culminating in Captaining the WP side to victory in the Curry Cup final against the Sharks… at flank!

Having done an about turn with regards to his move to Toulon, Fourie has also indicated his future is not only in the shade of Table Mountain, but also at hooker. Whether this is so, much depends on the fitness of the likes of Siya and Schalla, as well as Scarra’s role in the starting line-up.

Like Scarra, he certainly does provide that 3rd loosie role, and his defence and leadership over the season has been exemplary.

 

Christiaan Rudolph (Tiaan) Liebenberg

HEIGHT 185 cm

WEIGHT 111 Kg

BIRTH DATE 18 December 1981 – Age 31

Super Rugby Debut – Cheetahs – 2006

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2007

Hooker

A season of highs and injuries are the best way to sum up Tiaan’s season. Having played for the Boks against Argentina and New Zealand after Bismarck du Plessis was injured, only to have his season cut short with injury of his own. A solid season, sharing the hooking berth with Skarra, Liebenberg is a man that would follow you through hell. A real team man, he is one that will never let the side down. Very good in the tight, good ball skills, solid in defence, perhaps the only chink in his armour, a few wayward throws.

 

Siyabonga (Skarra) Ntubeni

HEIGHT 177 cm

WEIGHT 92 Kg

BIRTH DATE 18 February 1991 – Age 22

Super Rugby Debut – Stormers – 2011

Hooker

The find of the season, along with Siya, in my book. Skarra was immense from the minute he first ran on for Western Province this season. He will definitely see more action for the Stormers this season, and will, no doubt go on to higher honour in the not too distant future.

Like Fourie, not only is he a very sound hooker, but also acts like that 3rd loose forward for the team. Fast, and with ball skills to match, Ntubeni is equally at home amongst the back as he is in the pack.

Go you good thing.

 

 

Locks:

Andries Bekker

HEIGHT 208 cm

WEIGHT 118 Kg

BIRTH DATE 5 December 1983 – Age 29

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2005

Lock

Started the 2012 season very short of form, then saw some time on the sidelines with more injuries, Bekker only really started to come good when Heyneke Meyer got hold of him, and calmly explained that the lock position was in the scrum, and not part of some hide and seek game where he needed to spend his time searching for the position in the midfield. A hard man and strong ball carrier, Bekkers lineout abilities and ball poaching come second only to the retired Matfield. He certainly looked good towards the end of the season, where he started to make his position look his again. Lets hope he carries that form through to 2013, and that he remains injury free.

 

Michael De Kock SteenkampDeKock Steenkamp

HEIGHT 197 cm

WEIGHT 113 Kg

BIRTH DATE 16 February 1987 – Age 25

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2010

Lock

From Williston in the Northern Cape, De Kock Steenkamp was schooled at Paarl Boys High School in the Western Cape .He played for the Western Province side from 2009, and debuted in his first Super Rugby match in 2010. Playing second fiddle to the front line locks in 2012, meant that he saw more action than he might have due to the injuries to the likes of Andries Bekker. A solid player with a big heart, De Kock won’t let you down.

 

Eben Etzebeth

HEIGHT 203 cm

WEIGHT 117 Kg

BIRTH DATE 29 October 1991 – Age 21

Super Rugby Debut – Cheetahs – 2006

DHL Western Province – 2011

Lock

Wow, this lad just got stronger and stronger as the 2012 season went on. A young lad, still just only 21, and with more growing and strength to come, Eben will, no doubt, become one of South Africa’s top locks for the next decade. Etzebeth has a huge impact on the game, not only locking and in the lineout, but in the loose as well. He is a very hard man, with the reputation of his dad and uncle Cliffie to uphold, the hard man doesn’t stand back for anyone! His one weakness has been his shortness of temper. If he can control this, the world is his oyster.

 

Ruan Botharuan botha

HEIGHT 204 cm

WEIGHT 113 Kg

BIRTH DATE 29 October 1991 – Age 21

Super Rugby Debut –

Golden Lions – 2011 – 2012

DHL Western Province – 2013

Lock

Ruan Botha, another of the recent signings, will join the squad, having signed a deal with the Stormers in August this year. He was a member of the Junior World Cup Squad, and his impressive form allowed Matthew Proudfoot to convince the WP heirachy to get their chequebook out.

He played one game for the Golden Lions, but I am sure that with so few locks on the Stormers stable, he will get a chance sooner rather than later to don the Stormers jersey.

 

 

Loose Forwards:

Donovan Armand

HEIGHT 191 cm

WEIGHT 112kg

BIRTH DATE 23 September 1988– Age 23

Western Province – 2012

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2012

Loose Forward

Don Armand got his first break due to injuries sustained by loose-forwards Duane Vermeulen and Nick Koster on the Stormers 2012 Australasian tour,where he received a call-up to the squad for the final tour game against the Western Force, where he came on as a replacement for Nizaam Carr for the last 5 minutes of the match.

He played a number of games this season for Western Province where he has become a regular starter. He can player at lock as well, and like Elstadt, will play a dual role.

 

Schalk (Schalla) Willem Petrus Burger Jnr

HEIGHT 193 cm

WEIGHT 114 Kg

BIRTH DATE 13 April 1983 – Age 29

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2004

Loose Forward

What can we say about Schalla. He has been injured for almost the entire last season. He is still under an injury cloud. He will be 30 pretty soon. He has had no rugby for a year. There are some awesome flankers coming up from under his shadow in the Stormers side.

Will he have the ability to sustain his style of play? What will his form be like? Will he be fit enough? Will he become a burden to the side?

Time will tell. but from where I sit, the green pasture on the other side of the barbed wire fence is starting to look very attractive all of a sudden.

 

Nizaam Carr

HEIGHT 184 cm

WEIGHT 93 Kg

BIRTH DATE 4 April 1991 – Age 21

DHL Western Province – 2011

Loose Forward

Can play at flank and Eighth man, and until his serious injury was showing some serious potential. Still injured, it is very unlikely he will be available for the beginning of the season.

 

Rynhardt (Rocky) Elstadt

HEIGHT 198 cm

WEIGHT 112 Kg

BIRTH DATE 20 December 1989 – Age 22

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Lock

A number of injuries saw Elstadt out of the team early in the 2012 season, and although he played a few game in the locking berth in 2012, he saw a lot of time on the side of the scrum when the Stormers were ravaged with injuries in the flank department.

This season will see him remain in the flanking position, but with so many loosies to choose from, he will have his work cut out. Will be a very important bench player, covering both the loose forward and lock positions.

 

Michael RhodesMichael_Rhodes

HEIGHT 197 cm

WEIGHT 114 Kg

BIRTH DATE 19 December 1987 – Age 24

Natal Sharks – 2008 – 2010

Golden Lions – 2011 – 2012

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2013

Loose Forward

Another flanker who is at home at lock as well, Michael moved to the Stormers at the end of the 2012 season. A solid 2012 season, marred only by a citing and subsequent 6 week ban for a dangerous tackle. Probably won’t make the starting lineup initially, but will definitely have a role to play from the bench.

 

Siyamthanda (Siya) Kolisi

HEIGHT 186 cm

WEIGHT 96 Kg

BIRTH DATE 16 June 1991 – Age 21

DHL Western Province – 2011

Loose Forward

“Siya is physically a big man, strong ball carrier, has a sound defence, he breaks the advantage line regularly and has awesome support play. He has been touted in some corners as the next Brussouw, and is a player of the future.” Again, this extract taken from the last instalment 12 months ago, but how intuitive it was. Before his injury, Kolisi was playing some seriously good football. Injury over, and barring any more, will definitely start ahead of Schalk in every game, and if he doesn’t, it will be a travesty.

 

Daniel Johannes (Duane) Vermeulen

HEIGHT 193 cm

WEIGHT 108 Kg

BIRTH DATE 3 July 1986 – Age 26

Vodacom FS Cheetahs Super Rugby – 2007

Stormers – 2009

Loose Forward

The hype, the injury, the Bok debut, this lad has had it all in one season. A precocious talent, possibly only let down this season by the injuries and taking the ‘hype’ to heart, Duane will be the solid anchor at the back of the Stormers scrum. A very hard player, he doesn’t give an inch. He only knows one way, and with his ball skills and some awesome loosies at his side, the Stormers are looking very good in this area for 2013.

 

 

Scrumhalves:

Dewaldt Otto Duvenage

HEIGHT 173 cm

WEIGHT 78 Kg

BIRTH DATE 22 May 1988 – Age 24

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2009

Scrum-half

Dewaldt reached his 50th cap for the Stormers during the 2012 season, and it was hardly noticed by anyone. One of the most underrated scrummies in the South African set-up, he has been on the fringes of Bok rugby, without actually having made it into the starting line up. A very good tactical – and place kicker, Duvenhage is the No1 Scrumhalf in the Stormers camp.

A broken leg in the Blue Bulls match in September ruled him out of the rest of the season, as well as any chance of Bok call-up. He will continue where he left off in 2013, no doubt.

 

Nic Groom

HEIGHT 171 cm

WEIGHT 93 Kg

BIRTH DATE 21 February 1990- Age 22

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Scrum-half

Didn’t get to play any matches for the Stormers in 2012, but Duvenhages injury late in the season opened the door for this young player, who made a big impact when he came into the team. A player with a lightening quick and accurate pass, as well good and speedy decision making, Nic offers something the Stormers have, perhaps, been lacking over the last few seasons.

He was rotated with Louis Schreuder for the rest of the season, and now that we have seen what he has to offer, he will, no doubt, make a huge impact in the Stormers squad for the 2013 season.

 

Louis Schreuder

HEIGHT 184 cm

WEIGHT 82 Kg

BIRTH DATE 25 April 1990 – Age 22

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Scrum-half

A very talented rugby player who is quick to the break down, and a good service, if, but for a second step sometimes that does slow him down, he has represented SA at the IRB U21 World Cupand has huge ability, and a great boot. Again a good visionary and reader of the game. Louis played second fiddle to Duvenhage for much of the season, but still young enough to make a major impact with in the Stormers squad. He will, no doubt battle for the second spot with Nic Groom, but I am sure that with a decent rotational system in place for the 2013 season – much required if we are to curb the sustained increase in injuries with all the top flight rugby – there will be plenty of game time for him as well as Nic Groom.

 

 

Flyhalves:

Gary van Aswegen

HEIGHT 178 cm

WEIGHT 88 Kg

BIRTH DATE 18 February 1990 – Age 22

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Fly half

From knee injuries in 2011 to recurring ankle injuries in 2012, this kid is like a training doll for the St Johns Ambulance crew on a medical course. Will he be able to see the season through injury free? Until then, one can only speculate as to how good Gary is.

Touted by Alister Coetzee to be the flyhalf of the future when he arrived at WP HQ in 2010, frustratingly, we still await the proof. Undoubtedly a player with potential, these injuries are going to remain a career hinderance for him, I fear.

Unconvincing in his warm-up games before the start of Super Rugby 2012, he was chosen to start whilst Peter Grant was left on the bench after his late arrival from Japan. He played competently, without lighting up the match, and thereafter Grant became the No 1 choice. Later in the season Demetri Catrikillis overtook Van Aswegen in the pecking order, so he didn’t see as much game time as he should have. Then the ankle injury.

 

Elton JantjiesElton_Jantjies

HEIGHT 176 cm

WEIGHT 84 Kg

BIRTH DATE 1 August 1990 – Age 22

Golden Lions – 2011 – 2012

DHL Western Province – 2013

Fly half

A prodigious talent, as has been proven in his career so far, and probably the biggest coup in the loan signings from the Lions as they sit out the season.

Elton, alongside Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen, are the rated flyhalves in South African rugby at the moment. WP / Stormers have really struggled over the last few years to find, and hold on to, a really gifted flyhalf. Now, for a season, at least, they have one. That is not to say that Peter Grant hasn’t done an admirable job for the Stormers so far, it is just that this kid does have the X-factor, and with the Stormers back line players that they have, and the style of play they are trying to play, he will certainly do the business.

A player with extra-ordinary vision, and coached by one of the best at the Lions, his speed, accuracy and kicking skills will make Jantjies a valuable asset, and I am sure the No 1 pivot for the Stormers. Perceived to be small and wiry, his defensive skills have always been challenged, but he has really tightened his game up in this area too, to improve his all round skills.

“I don’t compete against any flyhalf in South Africa or in the world. I compete against myself to improve as a player and just to do my job as a flyhalf and take all the responsibilities that goes with the position. So, I know I have to do my job at all aspects of the game. If I’m good at that then I can be the number one flyhalf.” Humble, and with a good head on his young shoulders, this is the players that The Stormers so deeply desired.

 

Peter Grant

HEIGHT 186 cm

WEIGHT 92 Kg

BIRTH DATE 15 August 1984 – Age 28

DHL Stormers Super Rugby – 2006

Fly half

Much maligned by most, Peter Grant has been a solid, consistent, and always a player that you know will give 150% all the time. Although not as gifted as the likes of Elton Jantjies, Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen, as a back up player, no union would look this gift horse in the mouth to play for them when their cards are down. He has been a very loyal servant to WP / Stormers rugby for so long, and in many cases saved matches for his team. Absolutely solid in defence, a reliable kicker, and good vision, Peter can win matches, without necessarily lighting them up.

More likely to play second fiddle to Elton Jantjies, he will be a more than valuable bench player for the Stormers. In one fell swoop, Allister Coetzee has shored up the weakest area in the Stormers armoury, and created something that will, hopefully, take them that one step further in the following season.

He will, of course, miss the warm up season, as he will be still playing for the Kobe Steelers (Japan), but he will slot back into the Stormers squad once the season ‘proper’, starts.

 

 

Centres:

Marcel Girard (Marcel) Brache

HEIGHT 190cm

WEIGHT 88 Kg

BIRTH DATE 15 October 1987 – Age 25

DHL Western Province – 2010

Centre

Although Marcel only played for 46 minutes of the Stormers 2012 campaign, he started in 10 of the Currie Cup matches for the Western Province side. He played some outstanding and at times inspiring rugby scoring 3 tries in the process. He has shown his ability to play at 12 or 13, and was named the vice captain of the WP side.

2 Years ago Brache was playing social club rugby for the Ikey Tornado’s, now he is in the Stormers squad. Good feet, and good acceleration means he can play centre, fullback or wing, allthough his speed or lack thereof, means he probably won’t be utilised on the wing. He first played for WP in 2010, but officially signed up for them in 2011.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see the USA Eagles making a play for Marcel soon – it is up to us to make sure they don’t!

 

Juan Leon (Juan) de Jongh

HEIGHT 177 cm

WEIGHT 87 Kg

BIRTH DATE 15 March 1988 – Age 24

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2010

Centre

Juan showed his class through the 2012 season, where he made the outside centre his own after the exodus of Jaque Fourie to Japan and with Jean de Villiers’ move to his inside. A player with precocious talent, Juan can light up the midfield with his turn of speed, quick hands and side-step – his superb try against the Sharks at the end of the season is testament to that.

Almost unwanted by Heyneke Meyer it seemed, after only 9 minutes of play in The Rugby Championship, he eventually played the full matches against Scotland and England on the End Of Year Tour. Heyneke Meyer has often said that size is important, but when given the chance Juan de Jongh has proven otherwise.

A very dynamic and strong centre and agile on his feet, he can carve up any defensive line. This season will see him again pair up with Jean de Villiers for the starting partnership in the centre.

 

Jean de Villiers

HEIGHT 190 cm

WEIGHT 103 Kg

BIRTH DATE 24 February 1981 – Age 32

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2005

Centre

With a total of 82 Super Rugby games and 84 international caps under his belt, one doesn’t have to look any further for experience. Jean de Villiers, now in the twilight of his career, has been a marvellous servant, and lately Captain, for the Stormers as well as an outstanding player both on attack and defence.

Jean made the move to inside centre in 2012 to make way for Juan de Jongh, and although this isn’t his natural spot, played some inspiring rugby from inside centre – perhaps his only fault was hanging onto the ball too long. It did take a while to find some form and a very long and arduous season mean’t that he was very fatigued by the end of 2012.

Expect him to be well-rested, fully fit, and back to top form for the 2013 season and to lead his troops from the front. As he is quoted as saying: “I believe the one thing that is non-negotiable for a captain is that he makes the right plays and makes the right decisions under pressure. That’s how I would like to define myself.”

 

Juan-Pierre (JP) du Plessis

HEIGHT 185 cm

WEIGHT 92 Kg

BIRTH DATE 29 April 1991 – Age 20

Melbourne Rebels – 2010

Centre

With a side-stepping ability akin to his namesake Carel du Plesssis, JP should be a centre for the future. Strong and with a very good hand-off, good vision and very good defence, potentially he has just what is required to make the step up. He showed this with aplomb in his matches against the likes of the Bulls, where he handed off JJ Engelbrecht with ease. In this same match, where he played alongside Brache, they both showed an extra-ordinary amount of flare and talent as they moved the ball around to help the Western Province side to a 42-6 win over the old foe.

A very strong runner with an excellent stepping ability, JP grew up in SA before heading to Australia to play league for the Sydney Roosters. He signed for the Melbourne Rebels in 2011, but saw no game time. From there he was released and signed with the Stormers.

Although he received no game time for the Stormers last year, he is bound to make a showing in 2013, where he can don either centre jersey.

 

 

Back Three:

Gio Giaan Aplon

HEIGHT 175 cm

WEIGHT 78 Kg

BIRTH DATE 6 October 1982 – Age 30

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2007

Wing

 

This is the Stormers ‘go to’ man in the backs. The heart of an elephant and the agility of a Springbok. Simply one of the best. Unfortunately, alongside Brent Russell (The Pocket Rocket), will, I fear, go down in the annals of history as a ‘what if’ man. In South Africa we are obsessed with size, so much so, it is often to the detriment of talent. Aplon is a player of remarkable talent and someone who the Kaapies cherish as their own.

Another very good season for the Stormers in 2012 with a blistering turn of speed and great hands Aplon, who has also played 7’s with great success, is a player that has both the ‘X’ factor and vision. He is never one to shirk his responsibilities, tackling way above his weight and has a very good technique coupled with bravery and natural timing. He is a versatile backline player, an elusive runner and can spot a gap from a mile. He provides cover at fullback and at wing.

60 Appearances in a Stormers jersey makes Gio a very senior player but the 15 international caps just don’t do a player of his ability justice. Gio will play on the wing, but is equally adept at fullback if required.

 

Bryan Habana

HEIGHT 180 cm

WEIGHT 94 Kg

BIRTH DATE 12 June 1983 – Age 29

Golden Lions Super Rugby – 2004

Blue Bulls 2005 – 2009

DHL Stormers – 2010 -

Wing

Form is temporary, class is permanent. This is definitely the case for Bryan Habana. Two seasons of indifferent form ended with form coming flooding back to show his pure class. A thoroughbred, and one that still has a couple of years in him before he is put out to pasture.

All Stormers supporters hope that he will be able to carry his recent form into the new season, as there is nothing better than to see the Bok flyer galloping down the touch line ball in hand to dot down for another try to increase his Super Rugby personal tally past the current 265 point mark.

106 Starts in Super Rugby and 83 Internationals under his belt, together with Jean de Villiers and Gio Aplon, has the experience to lead any team to a trophy.

Mourad Boudjellal, owner of Toulon has his sights set on Habana – Not before the seasons is out, mate!

 

Damian de AllendeDamian de Allende

HEIGHT 189 cm

WEIGHT 96 Kg

BIRTH DATE 25 November 1991 – Age 21

Western Province – 2012 -

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2013

Wing

He made his first team debut for Western Province during the 2012 Vodacom Cup, in their game against Pampas XV, after which he made another 2 appearances for Western Province. He was then included in the Western Province Currie Cup squad, the highlight being picked against the Sharks for the final at Kings Park.

According to John Dobson, coach of the Western Province Under 21 side, who said of Damian, who only started playing rugby at the age of 15, “Where he is amazing is that while he has got this massive size at 95 kgs and over 1.8 metres tall, but he has got one of the biggest boots at the Union, he is one of the best passers at the Union and he has got the most unbelievable feet.

“To my mind he decides if he wants to play for South Africa or not”.

Big, powerful, with a massive boot, De Allende has the potential to play for many years for the Stormers.

Damian de Allende represented the Ikey Tigers in the 2012 Varsity Cup.

 

Gerhard Jacobus van den Heever

HEIGHT 190 cm

WEIGHT 94 Kg

BIRTH DATE 13 April 1989 – Age 23

Bulls Super Rugby – 2009 – 2011

DHL Stormers – 2012 -

Wing

15 Games for the Stormers outfit in 2012 (mostly from the bench), somehow Gerhard didn’t seem to light up the stage as he did with the Bulls in the previous seasons. Another player with lightening speed and size to boot, there is no reason that he won’t improve in 2013. Towards the back-end of the season, his form certainly seemed to be making a return during the Currie Cup, and a decent lay-off should ensure that he is fit and raring to go.

Having just watched the try against the Lions whilst still in a Blue Bulls jersey, proves that this lad has all the right credentials to make wing his own. An incredible turn of speed, a natural ability to read the game and a wonderful goose-step left the Lions standing and if he can regain that form, will leave many more teams in the same position. All this before doing the same thing to the Lions in 2012 for the Stormers.

 

Johan Christiaan (Joe) Pietersen

HEIGHT 180 cm

WEIGHT 80 Kg

BIRTH DATE 18 May 1984 – Age 28

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2006

Full back

Whether from the bench or when starting, like Peter Grant, Joe has the heart of a lion and will never let the side down. Seen by many as a ‘just not quite there man’, he has made the last line of defence his own in so many matches. Solid as a rock under the high ball, perhaps his one fault over the 2012 season has been his kicking out of hand. This did improve during the season and we were witness to some great rugby at times starting from a solid take at the back by the little maestro.

Again, as with Grant, those who scoff, do so at their own peril. We’ll keep him, thank you very much. He is Mr Reliable! With the inclusion of Jaco Taute into the fold, Joe Pietersen may well find himself on the bench for a lot of the season but I cannot think of a better ‘go to’ man when required to come off the bench.

 

Jacob Johannes TauteJaco_Taute

HEIGHT 187 cm

WEIGHT 95 Kg

BIRTH DATE 21 March 1991 – Age 21

Golden Lions – 2010 – 2012

DHL Stormers – 2013 -

Full back

Finally, our second coup of the season. Jaco Taute joins the clan at the point where they have a real opportunity of going all the way. A player with 30 Super Rugby caps and 3 internationals under his belt at only 21, is proof enough that he is another with the fabled ‘X’ factor.

Perhaps not able to play at his very best for the Lions, who found themselves on the back foot for much of the 2012 season, when given the chance he certainly lit the stage. A natural ball player, he is equally at home at the back or in the centre.

An impressive portfolio boasts: Currie Cup debut at 18, Super Rugby debut at 19, Junior Springboks at the Under 20 Junior World Championships in 2012 and the Springboks proper at the age of 21.

Injury has haunted him, having lost a large amount of the 2012 season to a serious shoulder reconstruction, after damaging it in the match against Western Force and which kept him out for 4 months.

 

———————————————————————————————–

So, thats it! Thats the Stormers in a teacup – or a nutshell, perhaps. It only leaves me to say that 2013 should be a great season for most of the South African franchises, with all, bar the Southern Kings, having a real chance at capturing the title. Super Rugby brings out the best in the rugby supporters, nowhere more so than on Rugby-Talk. Passion, loyalty and sheer bloody-mindedness mean for some great and feisty blogging, but ultimately we all doff our caps to the team that wins and congratulate the game of rugby to which we have come to grow so much respect for.

My only complaint, perhaps, is too many games, just to please the sports channels, and to make sure the directors can retire secure in the knowledge that they won’t run out of gas for their super yachts, cruising the Med, but, still, a festival that delights like no other.

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  • Pietman 25 Jul 2014, 19:19 SAST - @ smallies: Ek is jammer hy waai, alhoewel hy bekend is met SnorCity en alles, weet ek nie of hy...
  • smallies 25 Jul 2014, 18:43 SAST - cheers ou atter, ek verstaan, sewe jaar van snotske as coach sal die lojaalste speler gatvol maak
  • Hondo 25 Jul 2014, 17:46 SAST - There referees' appointments surely have no impact on the outcome? :wink: I guess so since bb doesn't deem it worth...
  • Pietman 25 Jul 2014, 17:44 SAST - Strate beter as die Bafanny Bafanny :Disapproval:
  • nortierd 25 Jul 2014, 16:38 SAST - Mmmm, maybe BrumbiesBoy knew something we didn't all along, he se his support for the Aussies
  • MacroBull 25 Jul 2014, 14:55 SAST - Ek sien Strauss will ook vir n slag Super Rugby wen.

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