Juan de Jongh

Steven Kitshoff

Steven Kitshoff

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Lock Eben Etzebeth is back from his enforced week of Springbok rest and he will be joined in the DHL Stormers pack by loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies at DHL Newlands (Kick-Off 17:05 SA Time).

Etzebeth was rested from last week’s defeat to the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein as part of the South African Franchises’ agreement with SA Rugby, whilst Kitshoff was given a break as part of the DHL Stormers’ rotation policy.

Etzebeth will wear the No 4 shirt this weekend, with Kitshoff lining up at loosehead prop. Jean Kleyn drops down to bench after starting against the Cheetahs, whilst Manuel Carizza will start at No 5 in the absence of the injured Ruan Botha (ankle). Kitshoff, meanwhile, replaces Oli Kebble in the No 1 shirt with Alistair Vermaak remaining on the bench.

Vice-captain Juan de Jongh has been named at outside centre, but he has been bracketed with Huw Jones after suffering a hip pointer injury against the Cheetahs.

De Jongh has made a better recovery than initially anticipated, but will still be given until kick-off on Saturday. Jones will start at No 13 should De Jongh not be available, with Pat Howard set to come onto the bench.

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Ruan Botha

Ruan Botha

The DHL Stormers’ injury woes continue as lock Ruan Botha is the next casualty on the list of sidelined players.

Botha has been ruled out of this weekend’s Super Rugby meeting with the Brumbies at Newlands, whilst centre and vice-captain Juan de Jongh is an injury doubt.

Botha suffered an ankle ligament injury against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Saturday, as the Stormers went down 17 / 25.

Botha is in a moon boot and could be ruled out from 3 to 6 weeks. The team doctor is still to make a call on the length of his lay-off, but he has been ruled out for this week.

De Jongh is suffering from a hip pointer injury which saw him leave the field in the 23rd minute, and it is usually a 10-day injury.

Utility back Jaco Taute is available but the initial plan is for him to play 40 minutes for Western Province in the Vodacom Cup.

“Giving him (Taute) 40 minutes in the Vodacom Cup is the initial plan, but with our injuries at present we could slot him into the team against a quality Brumbies outfit,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

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Juan de Jongh

Juan de Jongh

Centre Juan de Jongh has recovered from an ankle injury and will lead the DHL Stormers in their 3rd Vodacom Super Rugby tour match of 2015 – against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

De Jongh was an 11th hour withdrawal from the team last weekend, but he is fit to take his place in the No 13 shirt this week and assume the leadership responsibilities in the absence of Duane Vermeulen, who is back in South Africa as part of the rest agreement with SA Rugby.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Influential DHL Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will return to Cape Town for a further 2-week rest period.

The hard-working No 8 has been in outstanding form for the DHL Stormers in 2015, but he will head home from Sydney on Sunday as part of the agreed SA Rugby rest period, which affects the top Springboks in this, a Rugby World Cup season.

“It’s a big one for us… it was a big decision to make,” explained DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

“However, it is something we discussed and have been planning since the start of the season,” he added, “the intention was always for Duane to spend the 1st 2 weeks on tour and then to head home and be ready for the final part of our season.

“We will of course miss him against the Waratahs and the Force but when we get home his rest period will be over and we will have him back in tow for a crucial part of the season.”

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Centre Juan de Jongh will captain the DHL Stormers in their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tour-opener against the Highlanders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

De Jongh takes over the leadership reins from No 8 Duane Vermeulen, who is being rested as per the franchise agreement with SA Rugby, whilst Schalk Burger comes in for his first start of 2015 and will take over the vice-captaincy.

Aside from backing up De Jongh in the leadership department, Burger will also be making his 100th appearance in a DHL Stormers jersey – having made his debut against the Waratahs in Cape Town on 13 March 2004.

The 31-year-old Springbok star joins Andries Bekker (2013) and Jean de Villiers and Peter Grant (both 2014) in reaching this impressive landmark for the men from the Cape and DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee paid tribute to the team’s “ultimate warrior”.

“I don’t think people realise exactly what Schalk went through in 2012 and 2013, first with his knee injury and then his illness,” Coetzee said.

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Juan de Jongh

Juan de Jongh

Stormers vice-captain Juan de Jongh insists they are fully focused on themselves and not the Bulls ahead of their opening Super Rugby game at Loftus on Saturday.

Both sides will be looking to get their 2015 Super Rugby campaign off to a good start with the Bulls being tipped as the favourites at fortress Loftus Versfeld where the partisan crowd, and altitude, is sure to swing the psychological advantage in the hosts’ favour.

“It is going to be a very important game this weekend to get our campaign on the road. We are focused on ourselves and making sure we get our things right.

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DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers have finished their training camp in Hermanus and have also appointed their leadership for the season.

We also bring news on Nizaam Carr, who did not take part in the training camp but in stead was hospitalised due to a viral infection.

By now, the rumours of Duane Vermeulen’s departure overseas have also been laid to rest, we discuss it below.

Seabelo Senatla, the speedster, will only join the Stormers in a couple of months due to his dual committments with the South African Sevens side, more hereunder.

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Barbarians RugbyThe Barbarians completed their squad with the addition of 11 more players including the South African duo of Juan de Jongh and Sarel Pretorius.

The Barbarians are set to take on the Wallabies at Twickenham on 1 November under the guidance of Blues coach John Kirwan.

Of the 11 new players added on Tuesday, the majority (5 of them) are from New Zealand with a further 3 Argentineans and a Scot to go along with the 2 South Africans.

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WP RugbyHead coach Allister Coetzee has named an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s top-of-the-log Absa Currie Cup clash between DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17:05 SA Time).

Hookers Tiaan Liebenberg (back) and Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) remain sidelined, meaning Stephan Coetzee continues in the No 2 jersey with Neil Rautenbach again warming the bench.

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WP RugbyJuan de JonghA new-look DHL Western Province team will head to Port Elizabeth to open their 2014 ABSA Currie Cup campaign against the Eastern Province Kings on Friday night (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).

Centre Juan de Jongh, in his first senior match as captain of DHL WP, will skipper a squad with eight ABSA Currie Cup debutants, but the 22-man group includes Springbok squad members Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth.

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Juan de Jongh

Juan de Jongh

South AfricaSpringbok centre Juan de Jongh was on Friday ruled out of the three tests in the Castle Lager Incoming Series this month following a severe chest infection which saw him being hospitalised for four nights.

De Jongh was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening, treated for pneumonia and discharged on Thursday morning.

According to Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts, the decision to withdraw the DHL Stormers midfielder was in consultation with specialists and with the player’s own wellbeing in mind.

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Juan de Jongh

Juan de Jongh

Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

Juan de Jongh and Marnitz Boshoff will not be considered for selection for Saturday’s Castle Lager Incoming Series Test against Wales in Durban because of illness and injury.

De Jongh was admitted to a Durban hospital on Sunday evening with a severe chest infection. He will in all likelihood only be discharged by Wednesday and will not be ready to take on Wales this weekend.

Boshoff rolled his right ankle at training in Cape Town last week. He has a grade one ankle sprain and the Springbok medical team are hopeful that he would be able to start training again late this week.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

South AfricaCell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.

Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.

Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.

While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.

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DHL StormersHead coach Allister Coetzee has announced a team showing seven changes for the DHL Stormers’ final Vodacom Super Rugby tour match on Saturday – against the Reds in Brisbane (kick-off 10:40 SA Time).

Springbok centre Juan de Jongh has been restored to the starting line-up, following his return from injury via the bench last weekend, whilst WP Under-21 star Jurie van Vuuren will make his first Super Rugby start after being named to partner Michael Rhodes at lock.

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Stormers

This is the 7th 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 MIDFIELD in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Jean de VilliersJuan de Jongh’s status as a doubtful starter for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal against the MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands has increased the likelihood of Springbok captain Jean de Villiers moving away from his usual inside centre position in the DHL Western Province team for the game.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province have probably lost Juan de Jongh for their next two matches after the centre was called up by the Springboks on Sunday, but they should be significantly boosted for Friday’s crucial Absa Currie Cup clash with the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

WP were set back before their match against the GWK Griquas at Newlands at the start of the weekend by the late withdrawal of big blindside flanker Rynhardt Elstadt.

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Juan de JonghSpringbok Juan de Jongh looks set to make a timely return to the DHL Western Province midfield for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup match against GWK Griquas in Kimberley.

De Jongh was left out of the Bok squad that flew to Argentina on Sunday as national coach Heyneke Meyer is permitted to only take 26 players on tour.

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StormersSouth Africa is blessed with some wonderful centres at the moment, and the lads in the Stormers squad are no exception. Springbok Captain Jean de Villiers again wears the Captains band for the Stormers, even though Schalk Burger is expected back from a long injury lay-off a couple of weeks into the season.

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DHL Western Province No 8 Duane Vermeulen and Toyota Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen are the two uncapped players that have been added to the Springbok squad for the Australasian leg of The Castle Rugby Championship.

The squad of 28 for Tests against Australia in Perth (September 8) and New Zealand in Dunedin (September 15), was finalised on Wednesday.

Apart from the inclusion of Vermeulen and Goosen, there were recalls for DHL Western Province midfielder Juan de Jongh as well as loose forward Francois Louw, who has captained Bath in England.

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Juan de Jongh - Fit again

Schalk Burger - Crocked

Some good news, tempered with some bad news…

Juan de Jongh returns to the fold this week in preparation for the Stormers game against the Sharks, but the initial assessment of Schalk Burger’s injury was further compounded by news now that Schalk Burger, their mercurial captain and one-man wrecking machine, will be out for at least 6 weeks if not more, with damaged medial knee ligaments.

Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers have some injury niggles, Rynhardt Elstadt is on his way back… and Peter Grant joins the Stormers this week from Japan.

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