Coetzee: Malherbe not sacked
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has explained his decision to demote prop Frans Malherbe to the bench for their Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders on Saturday.
Coetzee on Wednesday picked Brok Harris ahead of Malherbe at tighthead prop, a decision which raised eyebrows after Harris was demolished by the Crusaders' Wyatt Crockett in last year's semi final between the two teams at Newlands.
But Coetzee feels the impact Malherbe could have when coming off the bench in the second half might prove decisive. He was instrumental as a replacement in earlier victories over the Sharks and Bulls.
"Frans takes the forward play to a different level when he's sent on.
"He makes a huge impact and it also boosts the (forward) pack's work ethic. It worked for us for five weeks.
"I don't see it as a case of Frans being sacked, he played well against the Highlanders (last week, when the Stormers won 21-6).
"We're just seeking that combination again," Coetzee told Die Burger.
The Crusaders also often use a similar ploy, with Ben Franks replacing his brother Owen in the second half.
"We need to counter that and it's also a chance for Brok to make things right after he came second to Wyatt Crockett last year," said Coetzee.
15 Johan Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gio Aplon