On a wing and a prayer

Marius Joubert will start as left wing for the Stormers against the Hurricanes in the Vodacom Super 14 if he recovers from yet another niggle.

Keo.co.za has learnt that Joubert was forced to miss Tuesday afternoon’s training session after pulling up in the morning session.

The injury is understood not to be serious, but may prevent Joubert from starting his first match since recovering from a six month stint on the sidelines.

If he recovers, coach Kobus van der Merwe is set to deploy him on the wing in an effort to bolster his flagging backline.

Jean de Villiers should finally recover fully from the groin injury that has seen him miss the preceding three fixtures, and he will again partner De Wet Barry in the midfield.

Van der Merwe stated a few weeks back that the Hurricanes game was circled as one to rotate players, but the hailstorm of criticism that has dogged the squad following the abysmal performance against the Highlanders has meant major rotation has been delayed.

Despite a calamatous lineout performance in the second half last weekend, Schalk Brits should again reclaim jersey 2 from Hanyani Shimange. The argument is that the Hurricanes, less physical but more creative than the Highlanders, suit Brits’s more flamboyant and open play better.

Eddie Andrews, due to face the chop after two consecutive poor displays, has been granted a reprieve as prospective replacement Neil Fullard continues to suffer from the neck injury that has thus far prevented him from training fully with the squad.

The Hurricanes may be depleted by the loss of first choice midfield Tana Umaga and Conrad Smith, but still pose a formidable threat. The incisiveness of their passing, ability to offload in the tackle and counter-attacking skill ensures that one of the only guarantees in Cape Town is that the Stormers coaching staff are not enjoying much sleep.


15. Werner Greeff
14. Rayno Benjamin
13. De Wet Barry (c)
12. Jean de Villiers
11. Marius Joubert / Chumani Booi
10. Peter Grant
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Adri Badenhorst
7. Schalk Burger
6. Luke Watson
5. Henk Eksteen
4. Ross Skeate
3. Eddie Andrews
2. Schalk Brits
1. JD Moller