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Allister Coetzee

Thelo Wakefield and Gert Smal

WPRU President, Thelo Wakefield and Director of Rugby, Gert Smal

Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield says winning the 2014 Currie Cup is “non-negotiable” for the Capetonians.

Wakefield was left upset after the Stormers finished the Super Rugby season in a lowly 11th position – their worst effort since finishing 10th in 2009.

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Allister Coetzee

Has Allister Coetzee reached the end of the road with the Stormers?

The Stormers’ Super Rugby regression will continue unabated in the years ahead if not for decisive intervention.

Four short years ago they were losing finalists. Just two years ago they topped the log and lost in the semi-final to the Sharks. In 2014 they finished 11th, having lost nine out of 16 matches and, more tellingly, lost any aura of being a formidable opponent.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has conceded that there is an outside chance that his team may be without kingpin No 8 Duane Vermeulen in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby against the Vodacom Bulls at Newlands.

Vermeulen normally sits out Monday training session as part of Coetzee’s way of managing the hard working Springbok, who has played every game he has been available for at both Super Rugby and international level this year. However when he was also absent from training when the team ran at Newlands on Wednesday, it did prompt speculation that perhaps it wasn’t quite business as usual with Vermeulen this time around.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

DHL StormersDHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee adopted a different approach to his former Springbok management colleague Jake White during the break from Vodacom Super Rugby for the June internationals.

While White had his Cell C Sharks players play club rugby in the last weeks of the break so they don’t hit the remaining phase of the season cold, Coetzee’s players haven’t played in any matches since the win over the Sharks in Durban on the last day of May. The only players to see action in June were the Springboks.

However, the Stormers shouldn’t expect to take any cobwebs into Saturday’s big derby match against the Vodacom Bulls at Newlands as in the two weeks back in training after the taking the first two weeks off, the Stormers have been steadily upping the intensity in training.

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DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers are searching for a lock from outside the region to help them through the current crisis.

But just who the Stormers will target to come in to provide a temporary solution to the problems that have been caused by injuries and the departure for Japan of Andries Bekker is difficult to ascertain for there is not a lot out there and an approach to former Western Province lock Quinn Roux, now playing in Ireland, never went anywhere.

EP Kings lock Steve Sykes, a former Sharks stalwart, has also turned down the Stormers on the basis that he wants to commit himself fully to his province’s entry into the Premier Division of the Absa Currie Cup later in the year.

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Allister CoetzeeJean de VilliersSchalk BurgerDHL StormersOn the weekend, the battling Stormers had reason to smile again after they returned to winning ways against the Lions.

Allister Coetzee, head coach declared he was happy with the win.

Jean de Villiers revealed he defied instructions from the coach to play defensive when they had a 15-point lead.

Schalk Burger and Oli Kebble will be back this weekend, returning from injury, while Pat Cilliers and Demetri Catrakilis is sidelined with injuries.

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Allister CoetzeeDHL StormersAllister Coetzee believes the Stormer’s gameplan does not need adjusting and in fact, a return to the basics will give them some winning momentum.

The Cape Town-based team have lost five games in a row, including all four tour games as well as their opening match against upcoming opponents, the Lions.

The Stormers have never been miles away from a win in any of these games, making Coetzee believe that small tweaks in the basics of the game is what is needed to turn around their fortunes.

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Gert SmalJohn DobsonAllister CoetzeeA new era is set to dawn on Western Province with John Dobson likely to be named Currie Cup coach, according to reports.

The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) will hold a press conference on Monday, where Gert Smal is expected to be appointed as Director of Rugby.

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StormersThe DHL Stormers have been the South African side to be hit with the most pre-season injuries of all 5 Super Rugby Franchises. It has left them lean at lock and in the backline at wing and fullback.

Jaco Taute is rported to be out for 2 more weeks,as a result of which the Stormers have had to scramble to sign more depth, which now comes in the form of signing Shakes Soyizwapi from the EP Kings.

In addition, speculation is rife around what the constitution of the back three will be to run out against the Lions in Super Rugby on the weekend and the likelyhood is that Allister Coetzee would entrust a midfield spot next to Jean de Villiers to Michael van der Spuy.

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Super RugbyIn December 2013 and January 2014 we looked at Squad Contenders in the SA Super Rugby participating franchises. This tiime we will focus on the SA Conference Coaches for Super Rugby 2014.

We’ll have a look at all the head coaches and briefly their assistant staff, for the various South African Super Rugby franchises.

We look at their history and discuss their coaching styles and speculate about what can be expected.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his team for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup meeting with the MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 14h00).

Halfbacks Louis Schreuder and Demetri Catrakilis will start in the backline, whilst fit-again flanker Rynhardt Elstadt returns at No.7, which sees Michael Rhodes shift back into the second row where he began the Absa Currie Cup season.

Schreuder and Catrakilis come in for Nic Groom and Kurt Coleman, respectively, with Rhodes replacing youngster Tazz Fuzani in the No.4 jersey. Scrumhalf Groom and flyhalf Coleman will warm the bench this week, but lock Fuzani drops out altogether with loose forwards Schalk Burger and Josh Katzen continuing amongst the replacements.

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