The DHL Stormers are slowly working towards full muster as the Vodacom Super Rugby season approaches, with another clutch of Springboks set to return to the team for Friday night’s warm-up fixture against the Toyota Cheetahs at Newlands.
The Stormers dispensed with the SWD Eagles 34 / 3 in their opening game in George at the weekend, but the Cheetahs, as fellow Super Rugby participants, are considered the toughest opponent of the pre-season phase. They are thus the ones the Cape side will consider to be the dress rehearsal for the real thing, which comes in the form of the opening clash with the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on 14 February.
The Stormers will play the Boland Cavaliers in another warm-up game before the Super Rugby season starts. However, with the game taking place just one week before the trip to Loftus, the normal policy is to include fringe players for that fixture, plus maybe a top player or two who would only then be fully ready to play after coming back from injury.
A 28-man DHL Stormers squad will head to George this weekend, as the Men from the Cape start their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby preparations against the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park on Saturday (Kick-Off 16:30 SA Time).
Stormers squad for George:
New captain Duane Vermeulen will lead a starting XV with four Test players – three Springboks and an Argentine international – whilst props Steven Kitshoff (back from a long-term injury) and Vincent Koch (a new signing) are the other noteworthy inclusions.
Dillyn Leyds, after making his return from Australia during last year’s Absa Currie Cup competition, will start on the left-wing – part of an exciting back three with EW Viljoen on the right-wing and speedster Cheslin Kolbe lining up at fullback.
Fuelled by the enjoyment factor having returned to his game, Springbok flank Siya Kolisi has listed regaining his Stormers starting berth as first target for 2015.
This was among the 23-year-old’s revelations.
The current year has been an awkward one for Kolisi, marked first by a loss of form in the Super Rugby season and then a new injury midway through the Currie Cup just as he was regaining his zest and best form.
Springbok flank Siya Kolisi will be out for at least four weeks after hurting both of his knees in Western Province’s 35-33 Currie Cup loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.
The defeat, which included a losing bonus point, was WP’s first loss of the 2014 Currie Cup season, but it has come at a cost for the 2012 champions.
According to WP’s official website, Kolisi suffered a torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in both of his knees and is now in a race against the clock to be back for the Currie Cup playoffs.
DHL 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.
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.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday confirmed the names of 10 Springboks who were awarded long-term national contracts in August this year, which will see them remain in South Africa until the end of 2015.
Coach Allister Coetzee has made just one change to the DHL Stormers starting line-up for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth (17h05).
It’s been a dramatic weekend in Super Rugby with a number of players being cited, banned, injured and more.
Where does one start…
Ma’a Nonu of the Highlanders has been banned for 3 weeks for a Red Card tackle on Crusaders Tom Marshall, and is therefore out of the rest of Super Rugby in 2013. Jarrad Hoeata also of the Highlanders received a 1-week ban following 3 Yellow Cards.
Stormers and Springbok loose forward, Siya Koilisi is out injured for 6 weeks with torn ankle ligaments. Louis Fouché of the Bulls has injured knee ligaments requiring surgery and will be out for 6 months. The Blues have received a double hit with Chris Noakes and Piri Weepu out injured.
At the Cheetahs, Coenie Oosthuizen and Elgar Watts were casualties from the disasterous Cheetahs game against the Stormers and the Cheetahs will be sweating this week on their readyness to face the Blues on the coming weekend.
Meanwhile it is reported that the Stormers heavy guns who missed out on the past weekend’s game, Jean de Villiers, Rynhardt Elstadt and PatCilliers will be ready and available on the weekend for the 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!
This is where the debate starts to get interesting. So much conjecture around Burger, his role and where he should play. With Flo gone, is the fetching role going to be an area of contention?
The Russian Rugby Union (RRU) have revealed that they will bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after making their debut last month in New Zealand.