The Vodacom Stormers mean business in Saturday’s friendly match against the Southern Spears at Wellington. That is the message from flank Schalk Burger, who will be leading the Stormers in the absence of the appointed captain for the season, De Wet Barry.
Burger said the Stormers were raring to go. “It is the last game before the start of the Super 14. “It is the last chance to try out things and see if they work or don’t work. I would want to believe that we would go flat-out on Saturday.
“We must get our structures in place and we need to build self-confidence. All of us have played our last game a while back, so we all will be hungry and we will get stuck in on Saturday,” said the fiery Springbok.
He added that the game is not only important for the more experienced players, but also for the newcomers to the side.
“There are a lot of talented young players in the side, so there is a chance for the youngsters to make a name for themselves, so we will definitely give our best on Saturday.”
He added that the Springboks, who only joined their team mates on January 4, are well-rested after their break. “We don’t get a lot of time off. We came back and now we actually feel better than the end of the year. We’ve got a job to do. We are very excited.
“We have a new coach in Kobus for the first time, so we’ve got a point to prove and we still got to play for our Springbok spots. We just got to go out and enjoy the rugby again. Hopefully we can get a couple of wins under the belt.”
Boland wing Jonghi Nokwe is looking forward to his Stormers debut. He was selected for the Springboks for the end-of-year tour in 2004, but never played Super 12 rugby.
“I worked hard last year – not only on the field, but also in the gymnasium. It is nice to be rewarded for that hard work,” the 24-year-old enthused.
His wing partner is Rayno Benjamin, his provincial colleague at the Cavaliers.
“Saturday will be very special. For Rayno and I to go back where it all started for us, means a lot. Hopefully our supporters will come out in big numbers to support us.”