The DHL Stormers on Wednesday named a strong lineup to conclude their overseas tour against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
Whilst a couple of players have been rested or withdrawn due to injury, captain Schalk Burger believes the new faces in the squad – such as Earl Rose and Louis Schreuder – have revitalised the team.
“There are quite a few changes. We are welcoming back some experience, but there are also some new faces in the squad so it is exciting in that sense. Obviously it is disappointing losing guys like Dewaldt [Duvenage] through injury, but all in all I think it is a very good team that will run out on Friday.
“It has been a little bit of a crash course for Earl [Rose] and Louis [Schreuder] having just joined the squad this week, but they will slot in nicely. Earl has played at this level before and Louis is a very talented player. From a squad perspective, it is great to have some new blood to add a bit of energy to the group and I am sure they will do well for us this weekend.”
The side standing in the way of the DHL Stormers third victory in a row is new-boys the Melbourne Rebels. Burger is refusing to read anything into the Rebels place on the log, where they currently occupy the bottom position.
“The log position of teams is often misleading. The Rebels are a quality side and from our perspective a victory is very important for us in terms of the competition. We will not be taking the Rebels lightly and we are looking to end the tour on a high.”
The team has spent the week in Melbourne, a new stop on the Vodacom Super Rugby map. Schalk has enjoyed his time in the Victoria capital, but knows what is the team’s priority this week. He said: “Quite refreshing to come down to Melbourne for a change. We travel to the same places most of the time, so it is nice to go somewhere different. The weather has been excellent, so the guys have enjoyed their time in Melbourne. We are looking forward to coming home, but we got a very important game on Friday night, so our focus is on the job at hand.”