Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.
Van Aswegen spearheads Stormers – Allister Coetzee has picked Gary van Aswegen at flyhalf for the Stormers’ pre-season match against the Lions.
Coetzee is yet to settle on a flyhalf to play understudy to Peter Grant in the Super Rugby competition. Van Aswegen and Elgar Watts have not played in the Stormers’ systems before, and that’s why they are preferred ahead of Lionel Cronje in this fixture. Coetzee said that Cronje is likely to battle the Sharks in the next match.
On the injury front, the bad news is that lock Anton van Zyl has dislocated his shoulder and is out for four to six weeks. He will be touch and go for the start of the competition proper.
Others who will miss the Tri-Series but are hopeful for the first official game are Jaque Fourie (foot injury) and Francois Louw (hamstring). Fourie has begun running at training, and the Stormers medical staff are monitoring Louw’s injury.
Dewald Duvenage (hamstring injury) may come into the picture for the final warm-up against Boland. CJ van der Linde has a leg injury and should he not recover before Thursday, Steven Kitschoff will start against the Lions with Wicus Blaauw joining the bench.
Stormers – 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Subs: Siyabonga Ntubeni, Steven Kitschoff, Frans Malherbe, Wimpie van der Walt, Quinn Roux, Pieter Louw, Siya Kolisi, Nic Groom, Elgar Watts, Johann Sadie, Tim Whitehead, JJ Engelbrecht, Danie Poolman.
Bulls bucks face Kings – The Bulls have named a young side to face the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Derick Kuün captains a side that includes a string of fringe players. Akona Ndungane makes a comeback after nearly two years sidelined with leg fractures.
Bulls – Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Akona Ndungane, Stephan Dippenaar, Stefan Watermeyer, Sampie Mastriet, Francois Brummer, Ruan Snyman, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, CJ Stander, Derick Kuün (c), Juandré Kruger, Fudge Mabeta, Werner Kruger, Henry Bantjes, Dean Greyling.
Subs: Hans van Dyk, Frik Kirsten, Cornell Hess, Tendayi Chikukwa, Okkie Kruger, Dustin Jinka, Louis Fouché, Bradley Moolman, Courtnall Skosan.
Bulls pair stuck in limbo – Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson will miss the Bulls’ first warm-up game against the EP Kings. The Saru judicial committee that heard their cases on Tuesday has reserved judgment, and the pair remain unavailable.
Ralepelle and Basson, who were last year suspended following positive tests for a banned stimulant, will continue to train in isolation until the verdict is announced.
Brussow to miss start of Super Rugby – Springbok flank Heinrich Brussow will only be back for the fourth round of the new competition. Brussow missed the entire 2010 Test season, and after a second operation to his injured knee, he is still rehabilitating.
The Cheetahs are also waiting on Andries Strauss, who is struggling with a groin injury and will miss the Cheetahs’ warm-up matches on Friday.
The former Sharks centre has been training on his own for the past two weeks, and the coaches don’t want to risk him at this stage. Strauss and fullback Hennie Daniller (calf) will only be available for the practice match against the EP Kings on 4 February.
Prop WP Nel is also battling a hamstring injury and may even miss the Kings clash as well as the Bloemfontein warm-ups.
The Cheetahs’ A team will face Shimlas in a contact session on Friday morning, before meeting the B team in a 20-minute game. The B team will also play a training game against the Griffons.
Lions name Tri-Series squad – John Mitchell has named a 36-man squad for the pre-season games against the Stormers and Sharks. Elton Jantjies and Doppies la Grange have been included despite earlier reports that they will not feature due to their lack of conditioning.
Lions – Jacobie Adriaanse, Martin Bezuidenhout, Michael Bondesio, Jannie Boshoff, David Bulbring, Kevin Buys, Tonderai Chavhanga, Patrick Cilliers, Rory Kockott, David de Villiers, George Earle, Joubert Engelbrecht, Cobus Grobbelaar, JC Janse van Rensburg, Elton Jantjies, James Kamana, Michael Killian, Doppies la Grange, Bandise Maku, Lionel Mapoe, Edgar Marutlulle, Derick Minnie, Waylon Murray, Andre Pretorius, Michael Rhodes, Joshua Strauss, Wayne Swart, Jaco Taute, Franco van der Merwe, Wikus van Heerden, Deon van Rensburg, Dries van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Ross Geldenhuys and Burton Francis.
Duncan to lead Kings – Rory Duncan will captain the EP Kings in Saturday’s game against the Bulls.
Regular skipper Mzwandile Stick is still unavailable due to a knee injury, and so vice-captain Duncan will make the step up. Tiger Mangweni will take Stick’s place at fullback.
EP Kings – 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Norman Nelson, 13 Siyanda Grey, 12 Matthew Tayler-Smith, 11 Paul Perez, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Darron Nell, 7 Mpho Mbiyozo, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Rory Duncan (c), 3 Andre Schlecter, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.
Subs: 16 Jaco Fourie, 17 Ronnie Uys, 18 Ross Kennedy, 19 Lungelo Payi, 20 Marlon Lewis, 21 Shane Gates, 22 SP Marais, 23 Riaan Vermeulen, 24 Frank Herne