In the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2014 (23 to 29 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.
That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.
The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Following the game between Scotland and the South African Springboks, there has been some movements amongst the Springbok player corps.
Fourie du Preez is on his way back to Japan and won’t be available for the France game, in his place Jano Vermaak has been recalled to the Springbok side, from France itself, where he has been in great form.
Injured Frans Malherbe will be replaced by Frik Kirsten who has been called up by Heyneke Meyer.
Francois Louw, who left the field on a stretcher in the Scotland clash with an apparent neck injury looks to be OK for the coming weekend.
Experienced backline stars JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie are back in the Springbok team for Saturday’s Castle Lager Outgoing Tour opener against Wales in Cardiff, while Frans Malherbe will make his Test debut at the Millennium Stadium.
In naming his side for Saturday’s Test against the current Six Nations champions, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has decided to hand Fourie his first Test for South Africa since the Rugby World Cup in 2011, while a combination of injury and non-availability means Pietersen is back for his first taste of international rugby yet this season.
With Jannie du Plessis out for the End Of Year Tours for the Springboks it seems likely that Frans Malherbe will make his debut for the Springboks.
With Du Plessis out, only two options remain at tighthead prop and these are Frans Malherbe and Lourens Adriaanse, who are both uncapped.
Siyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.
It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.
DHL Western Province will be boosted with 3 key players returning to the training squad this week after injury lay-offs.
Schalk Burger has been set to resume training today after a long term injury.
He recently underwent minor tendon surgery which delayed his return.
Being officially out of the Vodacom Super Rugby race has not exempted the DHL Stormers from further injuries, with several players on the doubtful list for a clash against the Reds at Newlands on Saturday that is of academic interest only to South African fans.
Of course former Springbok coach Jake White and his Brumbies, and the Waratahs that beat them this past weekend, may have different ideas about the irrelevance of the game.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has made few changes to the squad that lost their opening match against the Bulls last weekend.
Springbok Rugby coaches have released five players back to their Currie Cup squads from the squad that returned from New Zealand.