Stormers skipper Schalk Burger has completed his pre-season workload and will not feature in Saturday’s match in Port Elizabeth.
Burger has played in the last two warm-up matches against the Lions and Cheetahs, and coach Allister Coetzee is satisfied that the Bok flanker has obtained sufficient game time ahead of the Super Rugby competition.
‘I said from the start that I wanted to make sure that everybody in the extended squad got 120 minutes. Schalk has played two matches so will have a rest this week.
‘He’s also been away on personal business. He should be back on Tuesday night and then back in training on Wednesday, but he won’t be considered for this match.’
Aside from Burger and flyhalf Peter Grant, who will only be back from club commitments in Japan next month, the Stormers will field their strongest possible 22 against the Kings. Coetzee said this should give the starting combination an opportunity to gel just two weeks out from the opening match against the Hurricanes.
The Stormers welcomed back lock Rynhardt Elstadt last week, and will be boosted by the return of three more regulars for the Kings clash. Duane Vermeulen and Andries Bekker are set to play their first matches since the 2011 Super Rugby tournament, while Dewaldt Duvenage will also be back after injuring himself in last year’s Currie Cup.
Coetzee will name his starting side for the Kings match as well as his 30-man Super Rugby squad on Wednesday.
By Jon Cardinelli