Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Cape Town - Gary van Aswegan so impressed the Stormers management in last week’s opening Neo Africa Tri-Series match that he has forced a change of plans for Saturday’s clash with the Sharks at Newlands.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said when he selected Van Aswegan for the match against the Lions that he would consider Elgar Watts and Lionel Cronje for the last game. However Coetzee said that Van Aswegan had done so well against the Lions that he wanted to give him an opportunity to build on that performance against the Sharks.
“Gary really had a good game and I think it is important for him to be able to build on that,” said Coetzee.
“I decided to make sure he got another outing against the Sharks as everyone has been talking and writing about how good he was last week and we would like to see him build his confidence further. At this stage he does look the likely back-up for Peter Grant, but obviously we do owe it to Lionel and to Elgar to give them a chance too. We have the Boland game after this one for us to do that.”
The Stormers team named on Wednesday excluded two senior Springboks in the form of skipper Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers. Both of them will be going to Durban for Bok team-mate Butch James’s wedding.
“They asked me quite a while ago for permission to go to the wedding and at the time I didn’t know about the Tri-Series schedule,” said Coetzee.
“Anyway it is perhaps a good thing for us that they miss out this game as it gives us an opportunity to spread the net wide and see how younger players go in a big match of this nature. In addition to Schalk two other top loose forwards in Francois Louw and Nick Koster are also out injured, so this is a chance for someone like Wimpie van der Walt to shine.
“We all know what Wimpie can do at Under-21 level and he was very good there, but this will be a new challenge for him. I am looking forward to see how he goes against a good Sharks team.”
Lock Andries Bekker captains the side in Burger’s absence, while Paul Bosch comes in at inside centre. De Kock Steenkamp continues as the second row partner for Bekker as Adriaan Fondse, who has been included on the bench, was struggling with an infection earlier in the week.
Tickets for the match are available at all Computicket and Shoprite/Checkers outlets as well as on the Computicket website and from the Newlands Box Office at the following prices:
All Seating - R40
Danie Craven Standing - R20
Scholars' Enclosure - R10
15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Wimpie van der Walt, 5 Andries Bekker (captain), 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 CJ van der Linde
Substitutes: Siyabonga Ntubeni, Wicus Blaauw, Frans Malherbe, Adriaan Fondse, Pieter Louw, Ruan Kitshoff, Dewaldt Duvenage, Elgar Watts, Johann Sadie, Tim Whitehead, Danie Poolman, Lionel Cronje