Erasmus likely to spring some surprises for Stormers



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Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus could spring a few surprises when he names his side on Wednesday to play the touring English club Saracens at Newlands on Sunday (kick-off 4pm).

Erasmus, a master of the uncanny, has been toying with the idea of playing the 19-year-old loose-forward Nick Koster on the wing in the Stormers’ Super 14 campaign this season and he’s likely to give the former Bishops schoolboy a run in that position on Sunday.

Koster is undoubtedly one of the finest loose forward prospects in South Africa and his ability was recognised by former Springbok coach Jake White who called him up for the Barbarians squad for the match against Australia, in England, last December.

Erasmus has made the point that the country is blessed with a plethora of loosies and given Koster’s silky skills he could make the position out wide his own rather than face fierce competition from other loose forwards, at his tender age, for a regular place in the team.

But Koster is most valuable closest to the action and the move could backfire if the Stormers are not able to secure primary possession at the set-pieces.

He has shown in limited appearances for Western Province that he’s an excellent link between the team’s backs and forwards.

Of late, Koster has been running in the Stormers’ backline at training. Another surprise on the wing could be Tongan Sevens player Alipate Fatafehi who has been training with the Stormers.

He can play in several backline positions and he is presently on trial with the Stormers who are looking at his strengths as a possible wing for their 2009 Super 14 squad.

Another interesting inclusion could be Hilton Lobberts, the Bulls loose forward, who has transferred to Cape Town.

Lobberts is likely to be drafted into the lock position, where the Stormers are hoping to use him this season. The lock position is one area where the Stormers may struggle for depth this season.

Local fans will get their first glimpse of the stand-out loosie Duane Vermeulen who will be wearing a Stormers jersey for the first time. He’s joined the Cape franchise from the Cheetahs.

Sunday may also see the return of fullback Percy Montgomery to Newlands, in Stormers colours.

The former Sharks No 15 moved to Cape Town last year.

Sapa –

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