Jean looking forward to first game

PUBLISHED: February 8, 2008

Jean de Villiers cannot wait for the first game of the Vodacom Stormers in the Super 14.

And he has news for those doubting Thomases and that is that he would be 100% fit for the first game. The Stormers kick off their campaign with a match against the defending champions, the Bulls, at Newlands next weekend.

De Viliers left last year’s World Cup tournament in France prematurely due to an elbow injury. He thus far didn’t take a full part in the Stormes pre-season preparation, but was nevertheless confident that he would be ready to tackle the Bulls.

The centre said: “Things are going well and the injuries are okay. I’ve recovered nicely and I cannot wait for the first game.

“I’ve made a lot of contact, but just sat out of training this week. I am, however, 100% certain that I will be ready (for the Bulls game). I’ve played against Maties and the University of Cape Town and we created a lot of match situations during training and things went well.

“I in fact played the whole game against Maties,” said the big backline player.

De Villiers, who will be leading the Stormers the first time next Saturday, said match fitness always tend to be a problem after such a long lay-off. He was confident that he would be fine though.

“I don’t think a lack of match fitness would be too big a problem, although it could be. But I really had a good off-season and we spent a lot of time on our feet, simulating match situations during training, so I should be okay.”

While De Villiers was confident that he would be ready after also nursing a hamstring strain this week, flyhalf Ismae-eel Dolie is battling a rib injury and is on the doubtful list.