Duane could miss Bulls clash
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
has conceded that there is an outside chance that his team may be without kingpin No 8 Duane Vermeulen
in Saturday’s Super Rugby derby against the Bulls at Newlands.
Vermeulen normally sits out Monday training session as part of Coetzee’s way of managing the hard working Springbok, who has played every game he has been available for at both Super Rugby and international level this year.
However, when he was also absent from training when the team ran at Newlands on Wednesday, it did prompt speculation that perhaps it wasn’t quite business as usual with Vermeulen this time around.
“I know you are going to ask about Duane not training, and I can confirm that there is a chance he may not play against the Bulls,” said Coetzee.
“As I said earlier in the week, keeping him off the training field is the way we manage Duane’s work-load, but it has been a long season for him and he is just generally sore. You will have noted he only played 60 minutes for the Boks last week. He will join us for captain’s practice on Friday, but should he not come through that, we do have some back-up plans.”
Those plans include starting with fellow Bok Siya Kolisi
at openside flank, with the abrasive and in form Nizaam Carr switching to No 8, where has played much of his rugby. Lock Jean Kleyn will come in on the bench.
Although Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer
is keen to see Burger play more at No 8 so he can develop as a back-up for that position, Coetzee is quite clear about his pecking order, stating that Carr is the back-up for No 8 while Kolisi is the back-up for No 6 and No 7. Deon Fourie, who starts at hooker against the Bulls, is also considered an openside flank back-up, which explains how Kleyn will come onto the bench if a loose forward drops out.
Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 17:05.Teams:Stormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Schalk Burger (captain), 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes
, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes:16. Tiaan Liebenberg
, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Siya Kolisi
, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Peter Grant
, 23. Seabelo SenatlaBulls: