Lions pivot training with Stormers

Burton Francis ran with the Stormers when the Cape franchise began their pre-season training schedule on Monday.

Francis, who recently parted ways with the Lions, was in Cape Town on Monday running through drills with the Stormers. Officially, the Stormers have contracted only three new players in Joe Pietersen (Bayonne), Deon Carstens (Saracens) and Gerhard van den Heever (Bulls), but Francis could potentially provide further cover for the Stormers in the problematic flyhalf position.

The Boland trio of Bolla Conradie, Elgar Watts and Clemen Lewis also trained with the team on Monday. Having a player of Conradie’s experience in the greater training group will be a boon for the Stormers, and no doubt Watts’s performance in Boland’s title-clinching First Division campaign may have given head coach Allister Coetzee food for thought.

The Stormers recently lost promising flyhalf Lionel Cronje to the Bulls, and aside from Peter Grant, are lacking in experienced No 10s. Kurt Coleman has been exposed to Super Rugby while Demetri Catrakilis and Gary van Aswegen have played Currie Cup rugby, but none of the three, nor Watts for that matter, are established at Super Rugby level.