Senior Professional Coach Rassie Erasmus is not announcing his squad for the 2009 Vodacom Super 14 until required by SANZAR, early January 2009.
Whilst Erasmus is expected the slowly start cutting the squad of 50 that started their pre-season preparation phase at the team’s High Performance Centre in Bellville on 1 December, loyal Vodacom Stormers fans can’t wait to see who will make the final squad ahead of a gruelling Super 14 season.
The bulk of players selected for the Vodacom Stormers traditionally come from Western Province, with very few Boland players in the mix for the Cape franchise. Erasmus told the media earlier this week that he would select the best players in the region.
The 2009 WP Rugby Contracted Players have been split into two – a Senior group and a group referred to as the Colts. The Colts, 14 talented youngsters who have graduated from the age group ranks, will need to use their opportunities in 2009 to push for higher honours.
Three of the new names amongst the Senior Contracted Players are Duane Vermeulen (pictured), Hilton Lobberts and Paul Bosch.
Vermeulen joins the Vodacom WP set up from the Cheetahs as a looseforward. Lobberts, who was born in Paarl, has played most of his rugby as a looseforward for the Bulls. He has been contracted as a lock. 24 year old centre, Paul Bosch, hails from the Leopards and represented the Pukke at the 2008 Varsity Cup.
Names not on the books for 2009 include Robbie Diack and Tiaan Liebenberg, who were released from their contracts mid way through the Absa Currie Cup to take up offers from clubs abroad. One of the most notable losses for the 2009 season is that of lock Ross Skeate, who opted to join French club Toulon. Prop Eddie Andrews has retired from rugby following a long term injury.
Colts securing contracts after graduating from the Under 21 ranks include prop JC Kritzinger, looseforwards Conraad Britz and Nick Koster, and centre PJ Vermeulen who all made impressive strides playing in the Absa Currie Cup this year.
To view the list of WP Under 21 contracted players for the 2009 season, click here .
The Vodacom Stormers will take on UK based club Saracens in a pre-season friendly match at Newlands on Sunday 25 January 2009 and play Boland the following weekend in Wellington.