Brumbies

De Villiers named in Stormers squad for Waratahs

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Former Cats hooker Schalk Brits will start his first match in Stormers colours against the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday.


Springbok Hanyani Shimange sustained a dead leg during last week’s Super 14 opener against the Cats and although he is expected to be fit, he has been unable to train this week. He is likely to be included on the bench.


The Stormers are also sweating over the fitness of star centre Jean de Villiers, who pulled up with a groin strain at training on Tuesday evening.


De Villiers has been named in the starting line-up, but is definitely doubtful. “It’s touch and go on Jean. Gus Theron will come into the side if Jean is ruled out,” said Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe.


The loss of De Villiers will be a savage blow to the Stormers’ hopes of upsetting one of the best sides in the competition.


Van der Merwe’s men started with a solid 23-12 win over the Cats in Johannesburg, but know they are facing an exceptional team this weekend.


“They have a world class backline with gamebreakers such as Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor and Morgan Turinui,” acknowledged Van der Merwe. “We are extremely happy with last week’s performance.


We never expected any miracles from the outset. There are eight guys playing their first Super 14 and they really put their hands up.”


Lock Ross Skeate was one of the Stormers youngsters that performed so well against the Cats and feels the forward pack has plenty of growth left. “As a unit we were pretty happy with our performance. We are a young unit.


There is still a lot of talent and potential to unlock,” said Skeate. “The Cats had a very solid tight five. The Waratahs are one of the best sides as far as competing in the lineouts is concerned. They also take the ball wider.”


Van der Merwe noted that despite the Waratahs’ obvious strengths out wide, they showed a different dimension to their game in their victory over the Reds last week.


“Their match against the Reds was incredibly physical. We will have to match them physically,” he said. Stormers wings Jongi Nokwe and Ryno Benjamin, who are both playing in their first Super 14, will have their work cut out against Wallaby opponents in Tuqiri and Sailor.


However, Van der Merwe gave them a vote of confidence. “Not being as well known could work in their favour. What they lack in experience they make up for in attitude and commitment. They don’t lack ability. Both are very exciting with the ball in hand,” he said.


Stormers:


Werner Greeff, Jongi Nokwe, De Wet Barry (capt), Jean de Villiers, Ryno Benjamin, Peter Grant, Bolla Conradie, Adri Badenhorst, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Ross Skeate, Eddie Andrews, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.


Substitutes: Huia Edmonds/Hanyani Shimange, Attie Winter/Neil Fullard, Henk Eksteen, David Hendricks/Justin Melck, Neil de Kock, Naas Olivier, Joe Pietersen.


Source : Sapa /ejb

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