Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
30 Jan 2014
8:00 am

Burger’s back in harness

Rudolph Jacobs

Livewire Springbok flank Schalk Burger is back in the Stormers starting line-up for the first time in almost two seasons.

FILE PICTURE: Schalk Burger during the DHL Stormers training session and press conference at High Performance Centre on on January 29, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Burger, was yesterday named as blindside flank and understudy to captain Jean de Villiers for this weekend’s warm-up clash against the Bulls in Polokwane.

Other big choices made by head coach Allister Coetzee is the inclusion of rookie Under-21 star Kobus van Wyk on the right wing, while former Baby Bok lock Ruan Botha gets his first senior start for the Stormers.

“I’ve never been shy to give young players an opportunity and there’s no better opportunity than to play the Bulls away from home,” said Coetzee. “We also want to use these games to see what the youngsters can do.”

Burger will form an all-Springbok loose trio combination with Siya Kolisi playing the role of openside flanker and Bok incumbent Duane Vermeulen at No 8.

With De Villiers back in his favourite position at inside centre alongside fellow Bok midfielder Juan de Jongh, big Damian de Allende has been moved to left wing to fill the vacancy left by Bryan Habana.

Coetzee has named 11 replacements which include Kings loan player, wing Scott van Breda,

and the promising prop Oli Kebble, son of former Bok prop Guy Kebble.

“Let me say from the outset that the results of these warm-up matches are not of primary importance, but that does not mean we won’t, or don’t, care about winning,” said Coetzee.

The Stormers will play two more warm-up matches after this weekend, against the Kings on Friday, February 7 and Boland on Saturday, February 15.