Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
15 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Top Stormers troops set for Super return

Rudolph Jacobs

The Stormers are in line to be boosted for this weekend's Super Rugby clash against the Lions by the return of captain Jean de Villiers, and a host of other experienced stars.

FILE PICTURE: Jean de Villiers. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

De Villiers, who missed the team’s last game against the Waratahs before last week’s bye, has recovered from a knee injury and could take over the leadership from No 8 Duane Vermeulen.

“Realistically speaking, Jean, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Schalk Burger and Tiaan Liebenberg will be back. Wing Cheslin Kolbe might be an extra week or two away,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

The last-placed Stormers’ play-off hopes have disappeared in the mists of Table Mountain after losing six out of seven, and Coetzee admitted as much.

“What can you say? We are in a bit of a hole at the moment – it’s for this team to get themselves out of that hole,” said Coetzee.

“Maybe we have got to relook at our goals and our plans.”

One area of concern that remains is that there is a lack of depth at lock where they have been stripped of their top second-rowers.

“You have got De Kock Steenkamp, Eben Etzebeth, Manuel Carrizza, Rynhardt Elstadt and Gerbrand Grobler out and now you are sitting with number six and seven,” he said. “You are also playing with hooker number three and that is one reason for the set-piece falling apart,” he said.

The decision-making of the young players coming into the squad has not been spot-on, especially as continuity in selection has been a nightmare after the injury bogey struck.

“I am not saying that the young players in the team are not good enough, they are really trying, but we do lack a bit of our experienced players,” Coetzee said.