DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has announced a 27-man squad for his team’s four-match Super Rugby tour of Australasia.
Centre Jean de Villiers will lead the squad abroad, a group that includes new Samoan star Sailosi Tagicakibau and the Japan-based Peter Grant, but excludes Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza.
Carizza suffered a wrist injury in last night’s gusty 19-18 win over the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands and will be out of action for eight weeks.
As a result, former DHL WP Under-21 star Ruan Botha will travel with the squad, joining fit-again second row De Kock Steenkamp as one of the locking options in the 27-man group – alongside Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes, who were both part of the 23-man squad last night.
Coach Coetzee commented: “It’s very unfortunate for Manuel – he tore ligaments in his wrist and he will be out for two months.
“That said, Ruan has a great opportunity to get some game time after showing plenty of promise during our pre-season matches and, of course, it’s great to have De Kock Steenkamp in the group too now that he’s back to full fitness.
“We’re happy with last night’s victory. We know we can still improve in many areas, but we’re happy to be heading abroad with that ‘W’ behind our name and we will build on that in what will be a very challenging tour.”
The DHL Stormers will depart for New Zealand on Sunday at lunch-time. The squad will fly – via Sydney – into Christchurch ahead of their opening tour match against the Crusaders next Saturday.
THE DHL STORMERS TOURING SQUAD (27):
Damian de Allende
Jean de Villiers
De Kock Steenkamp
Kobus van Wyk
Head coach: Allister Coetzee
Assistant coaches: Robbie Fleck, Matt Proudfoot
Team manager: Chippie Solomon
Strength and conditioning coach: Stephan du Toit
Physiotherapist/ defence analyst: Jacques Nienaber
Kicking coach: Greg Hechter
Team Doctor: Dr Arthur Williams
Physiotherapist: Wayne Hector
Technical analyst: Human Kriek
Masseur: Greg Daniels
DHL Stormers tour fixtures:
(Kick-offs all SA times)
Saturday, March 8: v Crusaders, Christchurch – 08h35
Friday, March 14: v Chiefs, Hamilton – 08h35
Saturday, March 22: v Brumbies, Canberra – 10h40
Saturday, March 29: v Reds, Brisbane – 10h40