Coetzee sees Bok potential
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes their four young guns, who signed on until the end of 2015 on Tuesday, are on their way to become Springboks one day.
Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth have all signed contracts with Western Province to ensure that they remain in Cape Town for the foreseeable future.
The Stormers made the contracts announcement on Tuesday afternoon at the NY 49 Stadium in Gugulethu, where hundreds of fans turned out to watch the Super Rugby SA Conference champions in action.
The Stormers pitted all four 20-year-olds against the Sharks at Newlands last week and their run of impressive performances have earned them contracts with Western Province.
Lock Etzebeth is rated as the leading rugby talent in the country and showed his worth again at Newlands when he bossed the Springboks in the Sharks pack in the forward exchanges.
Prop Kitshoff went up against Bok Prop Jannie du Plessis and his performance drew generous applause from Coetzee.
Kolisi was a tower of strength in the loose as his physicality stopped many a Shark sortie dead in its tracks, and he showed that is capable of securing turn-overs as well.
Malherbe is a solid scrummager and has become the anchor for the Stormers' tight five as they set about imposing themselves upfront.
"It is no secret that there were unions who were prepared huge amounts for these players," said Coetzee. "They've all been given long-term contracts and its fantastic to see that our young players have been secured for the future.
"We made a decision based on the fact that we saw their future here in Cape Town after they came through the ranks at the WP Institute.
"The role players in our system as well as the Institute have all played a major part on their development.
"Although they are all 20-year-olds they are all on their way to becoming Springboks."
"Coming to Gugulethu is one of our many community projects, where people get the opportunity to see the players," said Coetzee. "The people here will enjoy a first-hand experience and get to meet the players.
"After this outing in Gugulethu we'll bring some of the youngsters to Newlands where they can see the players in action."
Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Andries Bekker and Etzebeth all had niggles and were spectators at the training session. The Stormers have a bye this week and resume their Super Rugby programme in two weeks' time against the New Zealand outfit, the Blues.
"The bye couldn't come at a better time as after the first two weeks of the new season, many players have niggles and that's why you saw some of them had a break this afternoon. There were no injuries from our matches and we'll be ready for the Blues.