Stormers ready for first warm-up clash

Stephan du Toit (Strength and Conditioning coach) and Robbie Fleck (Interim Coach). Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck made his intentions clear that supporters could expect a more free-flowing approach.

He has named a 30-man squad for their pre-season friendly against the South Western Districts Eagles in George on Saturday.

Although some big names are still missing like lock Eben Etzebeth, centre Juan de Jongh and flank Schalk Burger, who have just returned to the Mother City after his final stint in Japan before joining Saracens the end of the year, Fleck has named a powerful squad.

The Stormers first three games in the competition will all be local derbies, starting with a home clash against the Bulls on February 27, followed by an away game against the Cheetahs, before welcoming the Sharks to Newlands in week three.

Minor niggles will also keep scrumhalf Nic Groom and hooker Scarra Ntubeni out of this weekend’s action.

Prop JC Janse van Rensburg is expected to get his first run in a Stormers jumper after joining them the end of last season and will be joined by two other former Lions in scrumhalf Jano Vermaak and centre Jaco Taute.

Following their successful pre-season match against the Eagles at Outeniqua Park in 2015, Fleck said that the team are keen to return to George where they always enjoy good support.

“We are really looking forward to the game, there was a huge crowd there last year and the people were fantastic. We have always enjoyed playing in George, especially as there are a lot of Stormers fans there.

“Going on last year, the Eagles were great opponents, and it was a game that was played at a high tempo, which is exactly what we are looking for,” Fleck told www.iamastormer.com.

The Stormers coach explained that his aim over all the pre-season preparations is to ensure that each player gets enough game-time before they face the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Newlands on February 27.

This started with a defensive session against UCT last week, and includes another similar session after the Eagles fixture, with the final friendly against Argentina’s Jaguares at Newlands, a fortnight before they take on the Bulls.

“The idea is that we need to give the majority of the players between 80 and 90 minutes before the Bulls game.

“We had that defensive hit-out against UCT, we have got this SWD game, we will have another defensive hit-out next week and then we have the home game against Jaguares on February 13,” Fleck added.

The match against the South Western District Eagles will kick-off at 16.00 on Saturday, January 30 at Outeniqua Park in George and will not be televised.

Tickets to the pre-season friendly against the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday, February 13 at 16.00 go on sale on Tuesday, February 2 at 12.00.

* The Stormers captain for the season will only be named by next week.

* Stormers squad: Nizaam Carr, Kurt Coleman, Jan de Klerk, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Robert du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Huw Jones, Oliver Kebble, Jean Kleyn, Frans Malherbe, Godlen Masimla, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Khanyo Ncgukana, Justin Phillips, JD Schickerling, Louis Schreuder, Sti Sithole, JP Smith, Jaco Taute, Brandon Thompson, Kobus van Wyk, JC Janse van Rensburg, Jurie van Vuuren, Alistair Vermaak, Jano Vermaak, Jacques Vermeulen, Michael Willemse, Leolin Zas.





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