Cape Town - Locks De Kock Steenkamp and Adriaan Fondse will bring a staunch edge to the otherwise inexperienced Stormers pack that will face the Maties in a practice game at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday morning.
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The Stormers fielded two teams in two separate friendlies in Riebeek Kasteel last weekend, and coach Allister Coetzee was happy with what he saw from what was essentially a fringe team.
The side that plays this week is also made up mainly of fringe players, who can expect to be involved in John Dobson’s WP Vodacom Cup team, but Coetzee was happy to give both Steenkamp and Fondse, who both played Super 14 last year, an early run.
Steenkamp, after starting the season as the front lock partner to Andries Bekker, did not feature much later on, while Fondse started 2010 late because of injury.
“De Kock Steenkamp did not play much rugby last year, so it will be good for him to get quite a bit of rugby in the pre-season, and the same holds for Adriaan,” said Coetzee.
With the build-up to the new Super Rugby season, which will start in late February and extend to mid-July, set to intensify next week with the beginning of the Neo Africa Series at Newlands featuring the Stormers, Sharks and Lions, this is a last chance for players on the outer edge to get the Stormers selectors to notice them, and perhaps force a change to their plans.
“I don’t want to list the players who have impressed me since we first came together, they have all impressed me as otherwise they would not be part of the group,” said Coetzee.
Among the players in the side are several members of last year’s successful WP under-21 team, including captain and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, hooker Sidney Tobias and loose-forward Tertius Danniller. Former Pukke captain Willem van der Wal is down to play No8.
The match kicks off at 9am on Saturday and entry to the stadium is free of charge.
Stormers team: Marcel Brache, Tiger Bax, Burton Klaassens, Michael van der Spuy, Tythan Adams, Elgar Watts, Louis Schreuder, Willem van der Wal, Tertius Daniller, Wimpie van der Walt, De Kock Steenkamp, Adriaan Fondse, Buhle Mxunyelwa, Sidney Tobias, JD Moller. Reserves: Albe de Swardt, Tom Botha, Hilton Lobberts, Reniel Hugo, Nic Groom, Lionel Cronje.