Vodacom Stormers prepare to run a lot

PUBLISHED: December 6, 2007

The Vodacom Stormers are preparing for a helter-skelter Super 14 competition next year.

That is why conditioning is the key word in the camp at the moment. The reason for this approach is the new laws that are going to be tried out in the Super 14.

Coach Rassie Erasmus attended a meeting in Australia the past week, where coaches were briefed about the experimental laws. And the new coach is of the opinion that tactical kicks should be executed much more clinically and loose-forwards should get to the breakdown points much quicker.

The former Cheetahs mentor said players should be fitter than ever if they want to cut it at Super 14 level next year. That is why Jacques Nienaber and Greg Hechter, the Stormers fitness gurus, are currently driving the players like slaves on the training field.

Erasmus will be joining his charges at George on Sunday for a two-week training camp. He said he would be implementing the new laws on the training field as soon as possible.

“The main aim of the law changes is to make the game faster and more attractive. But that means players’ fitness will have to improve,” said the former Springbok flank.

Some of the new laws are:

Backlines may not stand closer than 5m away from the scrums.

Free kicks, and not penalty kicks, will be awarded for all transgressions, except for off-sides and dirty play.

When a player takes the ball from outside his 22m-area back into it or passes it to a player inside his 22-m area who then kicks the ball into touch, the lineout will take place in line with the spot from where the ball was kicked.