Bok stars set for Vodacom Stormers debut

PUBLISHED: January 19, 2010

Vodacom Stormers supporters can look forward to seeing Springbok recruits Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie running out for the Cape franchise for the first time on Saturday when they take on the Western Force in the Neo Africa Tri-Series, a triangular curtain-raiser to the 2010 Super 14.

With flyhalf Willem de Waal still recuperating from a neck injury that kept him out for the latter part of last season Fourie is set to form a midfield partnership with the promising Juan de Jongh.

De Waal is likely to make a return to the playing field in the last warm-up game, against Boland, on 6 February in the new Cape Town stadium.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said earlier he wanted to use Peter Grant as inside centre, but on Tuesday the coach said Grant will be playing flyhalf against the Force. “Lionel Cronjé played last weekend against the Ikeys and this week we will give Peter Grant a chance in that position.

“Conrad Hoffman will be playing against Maties,” said Coetzee at training at the Western Province training facility in Bellville.

Coetzee also said they want to field their strongest available team against the Force. The coach wants to see how the new players fit in with the team’s systems.

Another squad of 25 players will be in action against Maties in the curtain raiser.

The Stormers face the Force at Newlands on Saturday (17:00) in the first match of the tri-series friendly competition which also involves the Sharks. The Sharks play the Force at Newlands on Tuesday, January 26, with the Stormers and Sharks clashing in the last match on January 29.

“It is not about the results for us, but about getting the little things right, things that you cannot work on once the Super 14 starts and it all comes down to winning at all costs. We will still make sure though that we use it as a proper dress rehearsal for our first match, which means we will be taking all of our kicks at poles so as to properly replicate a match atmosphere,” added Coetzee.