Van der Merwe happy with preparations

PUBLISHED: February 22, 2007

DUNEDIN – The Vodacom Stormers will wrap up their preparations for their clash with the Highlanders at Carisbrook on Saturday with a captain’s run at the infamous “House of Pain” on Friday morning.

Coach Kobus van der Merwe declared himself satisfied so far after the final practice session on Thursday. “I am very happy, the guys look determined and ready to get the tour off the ground,” van der Merwe said.

“I have really been impressed with the example that has been set by the squad leaders and the senior players as well as by the enthusiasm of the young players, some of whom are on their very first tour”.

Van der Merwe added that the Vodacom Stormers were expecting a strong reception from the Highlanders who will be playing in their first home match of the 2007 campaign.

“They have been on the road for three weeks and have had a few results go against them so they will come out firing and we have to be ready for that. It will be a very physical encounter, especially up front, but we have faith in our pack’s abilities and will be looking to build on the progress that has been made so far”.

The coach was impressed with the Carisbrook playing surface. “They have done some work at Carisbrook and the surface looks fantastic. By all accounts conditions will be dry and clear on match day which is conducive to an open game. This will suit us with our pace at the back,” he said”.

There was good news in the Vodacom Stormers camp on Friday with injured winger Conrad Jantjes running comfortably after receiving treatment this week for an injured thigh. Egon Seconds is also receiving treatment for an injured hamstring and is likely to resume training next week.