Stormers keep an eye on New Laws



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The Stormers, who started their pre-season training for the 2008 Super 14 on Monday, have taken the hotly debated Experimental Law Variations (ELV’s) into account ahead of the 2008 season.

The Stormers coaching staff believe the ELV’s will have a considerable impact on the player’s endurance during the tournament.

“We believe the ball will be in play seven to 10 minutes more next year because of the law changes and that affects the way we condition the players,” Stormers fitness and conditioning coach Greg Hecther told the Western Province website on Tuesday..

“We anticipate that the players will be running a lot more and the intensity of the game will also increase a lot more because the ball will be in play a lot more,” said Hecther.

As a result the Stormers fitness team will introduce more aerobics and running to training sessions.

“The focus for the following five weeks until 3 December will be on conditioning. We will not be doing anything rugby specific, just conditioning,” said Hecther.

Hecther will be working very closely with former Cheetahs physiotherapist Jacques Nienaber throughout the coming season and was enthused by the experience that Nienaber would bring to the Stormers.

“Jacques Nienaber altogether has eleven years experience in fitness and conditioning and he will bring a new perspective to our environment,” explained Hechter.

Both Nienaber and Hechter say they have interesting plans for the team next year.

“We are doing it slightly differently this year in that we getting the players in for two weeks so that we have all of them in Cape Town training together as a squad.

“During that time we will test them and give them a training program. Thereafter they are free to go home for three weeks or they can go on holiday, but they are expected to train in their own time.

“That will give them a mental break from exposure to rugby, although they will be working extremely hard. ” added Hecther.

What is possibly equally as important as fitness and conditioning is discipline, which the new fitness duo hopes to encourage in their new coaching methods.

“The onus is on them [the players] to show self-discipline and stick to that program. We will be using quite a bit of heart rate technology.

“The players will download every session they do on the heart rate monitor and at the end of the day they e-mail the information through to us,” added the Fitness and Conditioning.


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