Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says that the inclusion of Seabelo Senatla in Saturday's starting line-up will give him time to adjust to 15-man rugby before the tournament playoffs.
Senatla only arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday after having represented the Blitzbokke at the Sevens World Series this season, and Coetzee had stated on Monday that there were concerns over the "physical" and "mental" state that the 22-year-old would arrive in.
A knock to the thigh was documented by both Coetzee and Sevens coach Neil Powell, but Senatla was on Thursday declared fit by the Stormers and has been rushed in to start against the Rebels at Newlands.
"It is never an easy decision to make if you consider your team dynamics and if you consider Johnny Kotze and how he has done," Coetzee said.
"We welcome back a player like Seabelo who is an out-and-out winger. He's done the same thing last year, he's had a great Currie Cup last year and had a taste of Super Rugby also after the Sevens circuit last year.
"This is a quality player that we're talking about and towards the business end of the season one has got to make sure that you build capacity in your team. You want to have all of your players ready and available to play."
Coetzee acknowledged that while tournament rules dictated that Senatla would have to feature in all four games to play in the playoffs, the decision to include him now was also taken to give him time to make the adjustment from Sevens to 15-man rugby.
"He had already said in the media that he's looking forward to it... should he get an opportunity he would really want to play, so what more can you ask for from a player?" Coetzee said.
"The second point; I had to make sure that Seabelo is mentally and physically fit to play and he comes through with flying colours and has trained out there today.
"Everyone is really happy with him being back and there is a great vibe and spirit around that.
"There is no injury issue. He's trained and it was a contact session."
Coetzee said that Senatla would bring another dimension to his side, but that too much pressure should not be placed on him too soon.
"It's tough to expect too much from Seabelo. We know what he has brought to this team," said Coetzee.
"But obviously Seabelo has got to settle, Super Rugby is a different beast altogether, so we want to give him an opportunity to settle.
"But there is something that you can't coach and take away and that is his blistering pace and he is a good finisher. That's a guy with a high work rate and he won't stop chasing on Saturday.
"He's just got to focus and do the basic right, and he knows what is expected of him."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:10.
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Seabelo Senatla, 13. Juan de Jongh,
12. Damian de Allende, 11. Dillyn Leyds, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis
Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Schalk Burger, 5.
Manuel Carizza, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1.
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Ali Vermaak, 18.
Vincent Koch, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Nic Groom, 22. Kurt Coleman,
23. Huw Jones
15. Mike Harris, 14. Cam Crawford, 13. Dom Shipperley, 12.
Mitch Inman, 11. Tom English, 10. Jack Debreczeni, 9. Nic Stirzaker, 8. Scott
Higginbotham (captain), 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 6. Sean McMahon, 5. Lopeti
Timani, 4. Luke Jones, 3. Paul Alo-Emile, 2. Pat Leafa, 1. Cruze Ah-Nau
Substitutes: 16. Tom Sexton, 17. Keita Inagaki, 18. Laurie
Weeks, 19. Cadeyrn Neville, 20. Jordy Reid, 21. Colby Fainga’a, 22. Luke
Burgess, 23. Bryce Hegarty