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Stormers leaving no stone unturned for 2014

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has had a look at every contracted player in the union

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Article Published: Friday 20 December 2013|

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says that they have had a look at every contracted player in the Western Province Rugby Union in preparation for the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The Stormers have gone on a break from training officially termed a "maintenance phase of conditioning" - before reconvening on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

Coetzee oversaw a huge squad of players - including eight of the 2014 WP Rugby Institute intake - who were put through their paces in recent weeks under the watchful eyes of the senior coaching staff and Stephan du Toit (the Stormers' head of strength and conditioning).

The likes of Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen and Cheslin Kolbe will all rejoin training on January 7, with an official training squad to be named later that week ahead of the team's pre-season camp in Hermanus from Monday, January 13 until Saturday, January 18.

"It's the fourth year in a row that we will be heading to Hermanus," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said on the Stormers site.

"It's become a big part of our pre-season preparations and we look forward to having our Springboks back, the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Jean de Villiers (to name just two), after their extended period of active rest."

"The past three weeks have been great for us (coaches), as it's given us an opportunity to look at every single contracted player in the union," added Coetzee.

"The eight (young) Institute players have also been part of our training, which has been valuable for everyone - given that they've just finished school and we've been able to look at them closely and also broaden their conditioning base at the same time. It's been great to expose those young players to the culture of excellence within the Stormers group and also to show them what it takes to push for senior selection with WP Rugby.

"Other players like Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Siya Kolisi, Louis Schreuder and Gio Aplon - some of whom did not play or play a lot on the Springbok tour - have been back at training for two weeks and it's also been good to see them again, in particular Frans, who picked up an injury on the Bok tour."

Looking back at the past three weeks, Coetzee explained further: "Pre-season training is a tough part of the season, so we have mixed things up a bit - taking the players away from the HPC at least once a week and giving them activities at the beach, on a wine farm; it's all about making it more enjoyable.

"The players that have been here training deserve this break over the festive season, but they will have to do a bit of work too and maintain their fitness during this period of active rest (as we also like to call it)."

The Stormers will play their first pre-season match - against the Bulls in Polokwane - on Saturday, February 1 (2014), followed by clashes against the Kings and Boland on successive weekends. Their 2014 Super Rugby season kicks-off against the Lions - in Johannesburg - on Saturday, February 22.

Stormers pre-season Super Rugby fixtures

Saturday, February 1:
Bulls v Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane) - 17h00

Friday, February 7:
Southern Kings v Stormers, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth) - 19h00

Saturday, February 15:
Boland v Stormers, Boland Stadium (Wellington) - kick-off TBC

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