Springbok wing Bryan Habana will be squaring up to his former team-mates when the Vodacom Stormers and the Bulls meet on Saturday in a vital Vodacom Super 14 match at Newlands.
Habana missed the past Saturday’s defeat to the Sharks in Durban and watched from the sidelines. On Monday coach Allister Coetzee, however, confirmed the Bok flyer has recover sufficiently from the rib injury he sustained against the Crusaders two weeks ago.
More good news for Stormers supporters is that loosehead prop Wicus Blaauw is also available to bolster a scrum that put in their first substandard performance of the sesason the past Saturday. Fellow prop JC Kritzinger is a week away from fitness though, said Coetzee.
Captain Schalk Burger, who has dislocated a finger in the game against the Sharks, is also good to go, according to the coach.
“Bryan’s return will be massive,” said Coetzee. “He’s great with ball in hand, but he’s also a fantastic communicator which is so important on defence. His work off the ball is also a big feature.”
In an interesting move the Bulls on Monday called up former Vodacom WP and Stormers centre De Wet Barry. Barry is playing his rugby for the Mighty Elephants from the Eastern Province these days, but has been a member of the Bulls pre-season training squad.
The Bulls will be without star wing Gerhard van den Heever, who on Monday received a two-week suspension for a dangerous tackle in Friday’s game against the Crusaders.
Coetzee said it didn’t matter to him that the Bulls will not be at full strength on Saturday. “It doesn’t bother me against whom we will play. For us a win is non-negotiable and we need to make sure we are well prepared for what will be our biggest game of the season.”
The former Springbok assistant coach said the Bulls are renowned as a team that sticks to their game plan religiously and they are clinical in their execution.
“They have excellent match discipline and don’t take a lot of risks. You don’t easily get scrums in their half, but we have a few plans we are working on.”