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Michael Rhodes

Nizaam Carr

Nizaam Carr

Nizaam Carr will captain the DHL Stormers in their Super Rugby clash in Durban on Saturday against the Cell C Sharks.

Kick-off is at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

It has been reliably learnt that the Springbok loose forward will lead a Stormers ‘B’ team in their final Super Rugby league fixture against the men from Durban before they tackle the playoffs the following weekend.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said he has looked at the situation and described his sides chances of ending up in 2nd position on the overall Super Rugby standings as “highly unlikely.”

A 2nd place finish would have secured a home semi-final spot for the Cape franchise – a week’s rest during the “quarter-finals”.

Coetzee will however use the game against the Sharks to bring back a few players who have been sidelined with injuries for a while. Players like Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk and Michael Rhodes will be in the starting line-up. It will also be a golden opportunity to test the depth of his squad.

“I am not even worried about the outcome of the games between the Waratahs and Reds as well as the Brumbies and Crusaders,” said Coetzee.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that he will be selecting both Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger for Saturday’s important Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Melbourne Rebels at Newlands.

Both players are due for varying amounts of rest as per the rest agreement struck between the South African Rugby Union and franchise chief executives at the start of the year, and it was assumed that this might be a game where Coetzee would do it. Vermeulen has already rested 3 games and is due to sit out 1 more, while Burger has 2 stipulated rest games and he hasn’t been rested yet.

“Obviously it means that Schalk will have to sit out 2 of the 3 games that will come after this, and Duane will have to sit out 1, but we have decided that against the Rebels we want the strongest possible team,” said Coetzee.

“There is sometimes a bit of rust and hang-over after a bye, and we need to counter that, and to do that I have decided that we should have all hands on deck for this game so that we can avoid any potential pitfalls. There were quite a few problem areas that we identified before the break and which we have spoken about and are working on, and we need to build on the win against the Brumbies by beating the Rebels.”

The Stormers now have the edge in the race for South African conference honours as the Vodacom Bulls’ loss to the Blues in their 1st tour game leaves them only 1 Log point ahead of the Cape side after the same number of matches, but with the Stormers looking forward to a run of 3 successive home games.

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Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Utility forward Michael Rhodes will return home from the DHL Stormers’ Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australasia after suffering a hamstring tear in his team’s 32 / 18 bonus point win over the Waratahs at the weekend.

The tough-tackling forward was forced to leave the field in the 33rd minute on Saturday and he now faces a 6 to 8 week lay-off – Rhodes’s 2nd injury blow of the season after picking up a knee injury against the Lions in late February.

Rhodes will be replaced in the DHL Stormers tour party by DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup star Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who left for Perth late on Sunday evening.

DHL Stormers boss Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “Michael has a Grade 2 or 3 hamstring tear and will be out of action for at least 6 weeks.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

An elated DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee heaped the praise on his coaching team and all the players in the aftermath of their excellent 32 / 18 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the defending champion Waratahs earlier today.

The DHL Stormers overturned a 13 / 15 half-time deficit to record their 1st tour win of 2015 against the reigning champs – also scoring 4 tries in the process in Sydney.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has hinted that veteran Schalk Burger could be in line for a return to the openside flank role that he filled for so long for the Springboks, but it would require a big shift in emphasis for the 2004 winner of the IRB World Rugby Player of the Year Award.

Coetzee finds himself faced with a difficult balancing act as he considers his loose-forward options of Saturday’s opening Vodacom Super Rugby tour match against the Highlanders in Dunedin. Duane Vermeulen, who brings so much of the necessary drive and physicality to the back row, is being rested as per the agreement with Saru geared towards effective management of Springboks.

That means that Nizaam Carr will move from openside flank to No 8, something that Coetzee confirmed in an interview with the Cape media from the team hotel in Dunedin. Carr played for the Boks in that position last year and was 1 of the form players in the Currie Cup for the title winning Western Province team, but having him at the back of the scrum does bring a different dynamic to the back row.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Regular captain and No 8 Duane Vermeulen is the only member of the DHL Stormers touring squad that will not be available for selection for Saturday’s opening game of the 4 day trip against the Highlanders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has reported to the Cape rugby media via telephone conference hook-up that the squad has settled down well on the South Island in New Zealand – they are actually in the resort town of Queenstown currently – and that every player in the 27 man squad is fully fit and ready to play.

That means that Louis Schreuder, who was concussed against the Chiefs in the last match, has passed his cognitive tests, while big lock Eben Etzebeth and the inform blindside flank Michael Rhodes have both recovered from the injuries that have kept them out of the last few Stormers games.

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Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of Michael Rhodes from the Stormers.

Michael Rhodes, the Stormers and Western Province forward, will join Saracens at the start of next season, adding South African power to the wolf pack.

Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, said: “We have some time ago identified Michael as a player who could  make significant contribution to the squad, playing in the second row or the back row, carrying the ball and we are confident we can provide an environment where he will realise his full potential. We’re delighted he will be joining us next season.”

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Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

The injury list for the DHL Stormers is growing following the addition of 3 more players after the hard won victory over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Locks Jurie Van Vuuren, Ruan Botha and Flank Michael Rhodes all picked up injuries and will be assessed in the coming days.

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Barbarians RugbyJohn Kirwan will give his international recruits the opportunity to stake their claim for Test places when the Barbarians take on Australia next month.

The former World Cup winner takes charge of the famous invitation side for the Killik Cup match at Twickenham on 1 November.

Already recruited are Wallabies wing Nick Cummins, former England prop Matt Stevens and a hard-edged group of South African forwards which include CJ Van der Linde, Heinrich Brussow, Coenie Oosthuizen, Thomas du Toit, Jacques Botes and Michael Rhodes.

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DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers side has suffered some injuries whilst on tour, with Scarra Ntubeni and Patrick Cilliers sent back to South Africa.

As a result, the Stormers are looking for suitable replacements to join them on tour.

In addition they have tried to obtain the services of Griquas hooker on loan, Martin Bezuidenhot, which have apparently been unuccessful.

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StormersCoach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting line-up for the DHL Stormers’ first match of their 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tour.

The DHL Stormers will take on the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA Time, 19:35 NZ Time) without injured forwards, lock Rynhardt Elstadt and flanker Siya Kolisi, with the fit-again De Kock Steenkamp and Schalk Burger replacing them up front.

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Stormers

This is the forth 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 LOOSE FORWARDS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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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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Stormers“This is where the debate starts to get interesting. So much conjecture around Schalk Burger, his role and where he should play. With Francois Louw gone, is the fetching role going to be an area of contention?” This was my view from the same article 12 months ago – has anything changed?

Schalk Burger still under a cloud, Nizaam Carr still hobbling, but a plethora of very good players in the squad means that if these two players do ever get into frontline rugby again, the Stormers will certainly be able to post a formidable loose trio on match days!

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In todays edition of the Lions Super Rugby contenders we look at the Rugby equivalent of the hyena and jackal, the Loose Frowards.

The men who have to get low down and dirty, and win the ball wherever it’s available, but mostly on the ground.

I’ll kick off with the stalwarts of the 2011 season.

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In this the 3rd instalment of the Lions contenders, we look at the big men who perform in the engine room of the forward pack, the lock forwards.

Providing the grunt in the heart of the scrum, as well as the means to win ball in the line-outs, this group of BIG men are responsible for ensuring a continuous supply of quality first phase ball for the team.

Let’s open with the players who did the hard yards in last years campaign.

The next instalment will look at the ever improving and exciting loose forwards.

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