‘Mental break also important’

PUBLISHED: May 12, 2015

The DHL Stormers will enjoy their second bye week of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby season for more than one reason.

Not only will the hard-working players be able to rest their bodies, but their minds will also get a welcome break from the daily grind.

That is the view of DHL Stormers boss Allister Coetzee, who, wisely, has given all his players – except those few recovering from injuries – the week off from training.

Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “We won’t have any problems with conditioning and players losing fitness at this stage of the season – the players certainly don’t need any rugby this week!

“The big thing is to also give the guys a mental break. Hopefully they will be back next week with a lot of energy and feeling really freshened up.

“A lot of our players have recently come out of a Springbok training camp – they were busy with rugby for most of last week with the Brumbies game (too), so it really is important to make sure that they get a mental break as well this week.”

Injury-wise, Michael Rhodes is making good progress from the serious hamstring injury which has sidelined him since April 11.

The plan is for the powerful loose forward to rejoin team training next week, before hopefully being available for selection against the Cheetahs the following weekend.

“Michael Rhodes is doing his individual rehabilitation still. He will join team training in the week of the Rebels game and he will be back in selection contention for the Cheetahs match (the next week),” explained Coetzee.

“(Vodacom Cup loose forward) Sikhumbuzo Notshe is also part of our plans going forward, so we are happy with the cover at loose forward.”

Coach Coetzee still has to balance resting back row bruisers Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen in the coming weeks, but he is confident that the correct planning will stand the team in good stead – as it did when Vermeulen was boldly, and successfully, sent home from the DHL Stormers’ tour of Australasia as part of his required SA Rugby rest period.

“I know I have got to rest players – that’s why this week’s rest is so important,” said the DHL Stormers boss.

“We definitely have a plan, but I don’t want to divulge (the plan) at this point in time,” he added.

“We will continue making sure that we adhere to the well-being of our players, as we have done all season long, and we will (also) see how far they are from needing a break.”

* The DHL Stormers – who are currently at the top of the SA Conference log and in second place on the overall Super Rugby standings – will host the Rebels at DHL Newlands on Saturday, May 23. CLICK HERE for tickets!