Stormers turn to Francis
Burton Francis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Stormers are looking to former Bulls and Lions flyhalf Burton Francis to shore up their depth at flyhalf next year.
Francis was spotted at the Western Province High Performance Centre in Bellville on Monday. He later joined the squad at the Bellville Velodrome for fitness tests.
The Cape franchise struggled with their depth in the flyhalf position thought the 2011 Super Rugby season. Injuries to Peter Grant, Gary van Aswegen, Lionel Cronjé and Kurt Coleman forced them to use scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage in the No 10 jersey at times. They even resorted to calling up Earl Rose on the overseas leg of the Super Rugby competition to help alleviate their flyhalf crisis.
During the Currie Cup, Western Province also used Demetri Catrakilis and Isma-eel Dollie with reasonable success.
Cronjé has already signed with the Bulls and WP have now turned to Paarl-born Francis to add much needed experience in the number 10 jersey.
The 24-year-old Francis has already played Super Rugby for the Bulls and the Lions. He attended Paulus Joubert Primary and Klein Nederburg Secondary in Paarl and played Craven Week for Boland at Under-18 level. Thereafter he played for the Bulls before moving to the Lions.
This season the Lions relied heavily on the services of the talented young Elton Jantjies as their first choice number 10. The 21-year-old Jantjies, who was named man of the match when the Lions beat the Sharks in the Currie Cup final this year, kept the experienced Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf Butch James out of the side.