The Vodacom Stormers will be without centre Jean de Villiers who failed a fitness test and had to withdraw from the side for Friday night’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Brumbies at Newlands.
De Villiers sustained a groin injury in training last week and had to pull out of last Saturday’s defeat to the Waratahs at Newlands.
Gus Theron, who had to make way for De Villiers when the team was announced on Wednesday, will start again. Chumani Booi will take his place on the substitutes’ bench.
Coach Kobus van der Merwe told keo.co.za that De Villiers was pulled out of a fitness test before ascertaining if he could sprint at full speed on Thursday afternoon.
“Jean ran at about 80% and felt nothing, so that was obviously positive news,” Van der Merwe said. “We decided not to push him though, and rather give him an extra few hours to recover. He will be tested again tomorrow morning (Friday morning)).”
On Friday morning De Villiers felt uncomfortable when put through his paces and the call was made to withdraw him from the game.
Van der Merwe stated earlier this week that he was happy with Theron’s performance against the Waratahs. that a final decision concerning De Villiers’ participation would be made by 11am, only eight hours before kick-off. The Stormers need to lift the intensity of their game if they want to beat the Brumbies, a team renowned for the way they keep the ball alive through many phases. The home team showed a lot of promise for 60 minutes of the Waratahs game, but faded badly in the last 20.
If they want to secure a win on Friday night, they need to play for 80 minutes.
TEAMS FOR NEWLANDS:
Vodacom Stormers: Werner Greeff, Rayno Benjamin, Gus Theron, De Wet Barry (capt), Jongi Nokwe, Peter Grant, Bolla Conradie, Adri Badenhorst, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Ross Skeate, Eddie Andrews, Schalk Brits, JD Moller. RESERVES: Hanyani Shimange, Neil Fullard, Henk Eksteen, Justin Melck, Neil de Kock, Naas Olivier, Chumani Booi.
Brumbies: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Clyde Rathbone, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Matt Giteau, Mark Gerrard, Stephen Larkham, George Gregan, Jone Tawake, George Smith, Daniel Heenan, Mark Chisholm, Alister Campbell, Guy Sheperdson, James McCormack, Bill Young. RESERVES: Saia Faingaa, Nic Henderson, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Radike Samo, Patrick Phibbs/Julian Salvi, Gene Fairbanks, Joel Wilson.
Referee: Steve Walsh (NZ).