Stormers turn to schoolboy
Cape Town - The Stormers are looking to blood a schoolboy at flyhalf in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Sunday that the South African Schools flyhalf Timothy Swiel has been training with the Cape franchise and that they are looking at the 18-year-old Bishops schoolboy as a possible long term solution in the crucial No 10 jersey.
Coetzee admitted that he still hasn’t seen enough of the youngster, but they will give him an opportunity to train with the team to show what he is capable of.
“Yes, he has been training with the squad. But he is still very young and I haven’t really seen much of him yet. He will however get an opportunity to rub shoulders with experienced Springboks to gain first-hand knowledge on how things are done,” said Coetzee.
It is hoped that Swiel could make the same impact that James O'Connor has done for Australia and Springbok duo Patrick Lambie for the Sharks and Elton Jantjies for the Lions.
“Timo (Timothy) still has a long way to go but one can never be too young. We will give him an opportunity in the pre-season friendlies to show what he is capable of. We did the same with a youngster like prop Steven Kitshoff last year and he came through,” Coetzee added.
The Cape franchise struggled with an injury crisis at flyhalf last season and is also looking to Swiel to help shore up their depth in the crucial No 10 jersey.
They lost the services of Springbok flyhalf Peter Grant though injury. Promising Gary van Aswegen also picked up a serious knee injury. Thereafter, they used Lionel Cronjé, Kurt Coleman and brought in Earl Rose on loan from Griquas to help alleviate the crisis at flyhalf.
They even resorted to playing specialist scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage at pivot. Boland’s Elgar Watts was used in the pre-season, but he did not get many opportunities during the season. Cronjé has since signed with the Bulls for next season.
During the Currie Cup, Western Province used Demetri Catrakilis and Isma-eel Dollie.
Coetzee confirmed last week that former Bulls and Lions flyhalf Burton Francis is also training with his squad, but has not been contracted. Experienced Springbok centre Adi Jacobs who has been released from the Sharks, has also been invited by Coetzee to train with the Stormers.