JC Kritzinger has been included in the Stormers’ match 22 for the Super 14 final in Soweto.
The versatile prop sustained a calf injury in the Stormers’ loss to the Reds, and has missed four matches as a result. Kritzinger passed a fitness test on Tuesday and trained without complication on Wednesday. It is because of his availability that coach Allister Coetzee has opted for a more traditional 4-3 bench.
‘It’s great to have JC back, as we’ve said from the beginning he’s the second-choice loosehead and can also cover tighthead,’ the Stormers coach told keo.co.za. ‘It’s because of the quality of the player that we didn’t pick five forwards on the bench.
‘The Bulls like to apply pressure at the set-pieces, but we feel we’re well covered at the scrum with JC, Wicus Blaauw and Brok Harris in the squad. There are no problems with the scrum, and I think the Bulls will scrum positively, unlike the Waratahs [who Coetzee feels were guilty of pulling down the scrum in the semi-final].’
The Stormers were well supported at the open training session in Bellville on Wednesday, with some fans breaking into song as their heroes ran drills. The only player to sit out was Bryan Habana, who has a cold, but Coetzee confirmed it was nothing serious.
Stormers – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Subs: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Tim Whitehead.
By Jon Cardinelli