Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

‘Tough January’ on all fronts awaits Stormers

The defending URC champions face a number of away games in Europe in the coming weeks.

The Stormers are looking to put in a massive performance against Glasgow Warriors in their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash at the Scotstoun Stadium in Scotland this weekend.

John Dobson’s team are flying high in the URC, sitting comfortably in second place on the log with a game in hand over most of the teams around them and after a perfect end to 2022, they will want a perfect start to 2023, which they will hope to have with a win over Glasgow.

It is set to be a tough January period for the URC defending champs as following their game against Glasgow, they face London Irish away and host Clermont at home in the Champions Cup, followed by an away URC clash against Ulster to end the month.

‘Tough January’

“In terms of the URC we’ve got Glasgow and Ulster away and if we want to get that home playoff we’re going to have to win one of those, and that’s tough,” admitted Stormers coach John Dobson.

“In the Champions Cup, we’ve got London Irish away, and that is also going to be a tough game.

“The Springboks like Steven (Kitshoff) won’t be playing at Ulster, which makes the Glasgow game hell of important. It’s going to be a tough January.”

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Although it is going to be difficult, the Stormers are heading into their tough January run, which features three away matches in Scotland, England and Ireland, in terrific form after three big wins in December over London Irish, the Bulls and the Lions.

They will, however, have to get over an injury crisis at lock, where they already have Salmaan Moerat, Gary Porter, Ernst van Rhyn and Adre Smith out but fortunately Marvin Orie, who took a blow to the head in the Lions match on Saturday, has been passed fit to travel.

Stormers Marvin Orie
Marvin Orie. Picture: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

“We’ve got really thin at lock and if we have any more issues there we might have to look at bolstering our resources,” said Dobson.

Stormers January run

URC match v Glasgow Warriors in Glasgow on Sunday, January 8

Champions Cup match v London Irish in London on Sunday, January 15

Champions Cup match v Clermont in Cape Town on Saturday, January 21

URC match v Ulster in Belfast on Friday, January 27

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