Stormers name unchanged team for Waratahs



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The Stormers have named an unchanged side for Saturday’s Newlands Super 14 clash against the Waratahs which the two opposing coaches Rassie Erasmus and Ewen McKenzie have described as a “Big One”.

Erasmus considers the side which defeated the Brumbies last week as the ‘finished article’ and feels there is no room for player rotation or resting key players at this juncture, which has a distinct knock-out feel about it, given that the defeated side on Saturday could probably be wiped out of the play-offs zone.

Waratahs coach McKenzie is not too sure about the honesty of Erasmus’ explanation about the reasons for the unchanged side and has reminded the local media that while Erasmus was the Cheetahs coach he would “announce one team midweek then change it an hour before the match.”

The Waratahs will not have the luxury of naming an unchanged side because their Wallaby prop Matt Dunning is out with a calf strain, which he picked up last weekend in his side’s 16-13 defeat at the hands of the Bulls at a wet Loftus.

At recent Waratahs training sessions the prolific try-scoring wing Lote Tuqiri has been running in the fullback position and if McKenzie does field him at No 15 on Saturday, it will be his boldest tactical move this season.

Regular fullback Sam Norton-Knight is nursing a facial injury and that could mean that Tuqiri’s No 15 fling at the training may just be an interim measure.

However, Tuqiri could prove to be a hit in that position. There is also concerns about the fitness of prop Al Baxter who suffered an injury in training earlier this week.

It all points to a scheming contest between the cunning Erasmus and the crafty McKenzie.

While the two coaches are still pondering of what to make of opposition selections, they both agree that they need to adopt a ‘knock-out’ mentality and that their sole focus will be on winning, rather than looking for a bonus point.

In the Stormers camp loosehead prop Brian Mujati has flu and flyhalf Tony Brown is battling a groin injury.

As a result both players were rested at training on Wednesday.

Former Springbok prop Ollie le Roux, who it was speculated would be included to bolster the Stormers scrum, is not included in the match 22.

The Stormers are on a five-match winning streak and are in fourth place in the log standings.

A win against the Waratahs will see them leapfrog their opponents who are currently third.

The Stormers team is as follows:

Conrad Jantjes; Wylie Human, Gcobani Bobo, Jean De Villiers (capt), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Robbie Diack, Francois Louw, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Ariaan Fondse, Brok Harris, Schalk Brits, Brian Mujati.

Reserves – Deon Fourie, Schalk Ferreira, Ross Skeate, Pieter Myburgh, Bolla Conradie, Tony Brown, Dylan Des Fountain.

Sapa –

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