The Stormers have lost four of their five Super Rugby games and after injuries to their six top locks, Van Vuuren has been thrown to the wolves against the Reds in Brisbane tomorrow.
And even though Van Vuuren, last year’s Under-21 star, is slightly small for a lock at 100kg and 1.92m, Jaques Hanekom of the Western Province Rugby Institute (WPRI), believes he has what it takes.
“Jurie has all the bulk and attitude to develop into a top-quality No 4 lock,” he said.
And even though Van Vuuren is probably more suited to the blindside flanker role, Nazeem Adams, who coached Van Vuuren in 2012, told wprugby.com: “Jurie has a big engine and a massive work-rate.
“You might not see him running with the ball in open play or throwing long passes, but he hits his rucks, takes his lineout ball and is not afraid to put himself about.”
Van Vuuren now joins other WPRI graduates in the Stormers squad this weekend like Juan de Jongh, Louis Schreuder, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Frans Malherbe, Steven Kitshoff, Stephan Coetzee, Tazz Fuzani and Nic Groom.
Having finished his schooling at Oakdale in the SWD region, Van Vuuren formed part of the WP Under-19 and Under-21 teams in 2012 and 2013 and is still eligible for the Province Under-21 team.
“Now Jurie is on the verge of his full Stormers debut and we’re very proud of him and wish him, and the rest of the guys the best of luck for this weekend,” said Adams.
“He’s got a great attitude and this experience will do him the world of good.”