Erasmus picks same Vodacom Stormers for Canes

PUBLISHED: April 16, 2008

Rassie Erasmus, head coach of the Vodacom Stormers, on Wednesday announced his team to play the Hurricanes at Newlands on Saturday 19 April.

Kick-off is at 17h05. Gates open at 14h15 and there is a club curtain raiser game between Victorians and Helderberg at 14h45.

The coach announced exactly the same 22 that did duty against the Cheetahs last Saturday. There were injury concerns this week about lock Andries Beker and prop JD Moller as well as flyhalf Peter Grant and No 8 Luke Watson.

All four have, however, been cleared by the medical team and they took part in training on Wednesday.

Flank Schalk Burger didn’t complete Wednesday’s training session and replacement flyhalf Tony Brown did not take part at all.

But according to Eramus it was only a precautionary measure. “We are at that stage of the competition where you get niggling injuries. I’m not quite sure what is wrong with Schalk, but it is just precautionary and the same goes for Tony.

“At this stage of the season the hard yards have been done on Monday and Tuessay and from a Wednesday onwards it is just tactical stuff we’re working on and fine-tuning. We try to rest a body or two where we can, so he is not in danger of not playing.”

Asked how easy it was to stick to the same team that did so well against the Cheetahs, Erasmus said the bye the previous week helped to convince him not to rotate or rest players.

“I think that was the one thing that made it a little bit easier. It wasn’t easy because we have a lot of talented guys, guys who were in form before they got injured – guys who have really bad luck at this stage.

“The bye last week made things easier for us not to rotate players or rest them. You obviously try to keep everybody sharp and fresh and that is something we know we are going to need during the rest of the competition and hopefully when we get to the final stages of the competition.

“Yes, it was tough, but the bye made it a bit easier, as everybody had seven days of rest.”

Vodacom Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes, Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean de Villiers (captain), Sireli Naqelevuki, Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie, Luke Watson, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Adriaan Fondse, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller. Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Ross Skeate, Robbie Diack, Bolla Conradie, Tony Brown, Gio Aplon.