Rassie puts trust in Connie

PUBLISHED: April 1, 2009

Coach Rassie Erasmus fell back on Springbok fullback Conrad Jantjes when he on Wednesday announced his Vodacom Stormers side for Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Jantjes made an appearance as substitute last week in the defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch. He however played wing, with Percy Montgomery remaining at fullback where he started the game.

Erasmus said Jantjes is South Africa’s number one fullback. “He battled with injuries but is 100% fit now. It is only fair that we give a guy like him a chance now. We are already in round seven of the competition.

“Connie did excellently last year for us at fullback and he is fit and this is his chance. Percy did a great job thus far and he understands his role on and off the field.”

Montgomery doesn’t feature in the 22-man squad for the Waratahs game, with Wylie Human slotting in a wing in place of Gcobani Bobo. The latter started at wing against the Saders but now has been reinstalled to his favourite position outside captain Jean de Villiers in the midfield.

Dylan des Fountain is on the substitutes’ bench as centre/wing cover. Human as recently as Saturday played for Vodacom WP and scored two tries against Boland. He left Cape Town over the weekend to join the Stormers in Sydney.

“He is an experienced guy. After the injuries to Nick Koster and Tonderai Chavhanga he was the obvious choice,” commented Erasmus. “He was the Vodacom Cup side’s number one right wing and he has shown good form this season.

“We just wanted to make sure Wylie was fully match fit and he played a full game on Saturday for the Vodacom team. We also wanted to get back to the centre combination of Jean and Gcobani and had problems at right wing.

“Wylie flew in nice and early and it wasn’t a difficult decision at all to include him.” The coach added that left wing Sireli Naqelevuki has fully recovered from the injury he sustained against the Crusaders.

Bobo takes over from De Villiers at outside centre, with Peter Grant moving inside to flyhalf at the expense of Willem de Waal. De Waal is on the bench.