Stormers get backline revamp



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Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe has injected some flair into his backline with the inclusion of Marius Joubert for Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Highlanders at Newlands.

Joubert has been picked out of position on the left wing, but may still move to centre if Jean de Villiers is ruled out with a groin injury.

De Villiers has missed the Stormers’ last three games, but took part in training sessions this week. However, he has still not run at 100 per cent an has been bracketed with Gus Theron.

If De Villiers does fall out, Joubert will move to the centre and Chumani Booi will keep his place on the left wing.

Booi was one of a few Stormers who performed competently in last week’s poor 30-15 defeat to the Highlanders and will be desperately unlucky if he misses out. “Marius had 25 minutes last week.

We want to increase that to 40 or 50 against the Hurricanes and then give him a full game against the Cheetahs,” said Van der Merwe There is a good chance that lock Andries Bekker will be back from a stomach injury and he has been bracketed with Henk Eksteen.

In another change, Schalk Brits returns at hooker in place of Hanyani Shimange.

The Stormers have come in for fierce criticism from the Cape public this week and Western Province director of rugby Nick Mallett took a hands-on role in training on Tuesday.

Mallett earlier questioned the commitment of a side that missed around 40 per cent of their first-time tackles.

Captain De Wet Barry defended the side, saying it was more a case of poor execution. We didn’t lack commitment. We just didn’t properly execute our lines on defence,” he said.

“It’s not in our nature to lie down. Our defence will stand up and perform well on Saturday.”

Stormers: Werner Greeff, Ryno Benjamin, De Wet Barry (capt), Jean de Villiers/Gus Theron, Marius Joubert, Peter Grant, Bolla Conradie, Adri Badenhorst, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker/Henk Eksteen, Ross Skeate, Eddie Andrews, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.

Reserves: Hanyani Shimange, Neil Fullard, Henk Eksteen/Gerrie Britz, Justin Melck, Neil de Kock, Naas Olivier, Chumani Booi.

Source : Sapa /jm

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