Cape Town - Springbok wing Bryan Habana
believes Damian de Allende will make the grade on the left wing for the
Stormers this season.
The Stormers are somewhat light on the wing following the departure of Habana
(France) and Gerhard van den Heever (Ireland).
Cheslin Kolbe is also ruled out with a knee injury, which has forced coach
Allister Coetzee to pick regular centre De Allende on the left wing for their
pre-season game against the Bulls in Polokwane on Saturday (17:00 kick-off).
Kobus van Wyk - also a regular centre - will be on the right wing at the Peter
"We saw over the past few seasons what Damian's potential is and he's been
excellent at centre," Habana told Die Burger's website.
"I was myself a centre before Jake White (the-then Springbok coach) moved
me to wing in 2004.
"I don't think the Stormers will worry too much about it. Damian and Kobus
are both big, strong and quick boys. And that's what it takes to be a good
backline player and wing.
"It will be a challenge if they get tested with high balls, but then that
becomes a part of their game that they can work on."
Habana said it was unfortunate for Kolbe to get injured, but backed De Allende
to do well wearing his old jersey.
"Damian actually started as wing two years ago at Western Province. There
must be belief in the guys who are picked in the position.
"Kobus and Damian are eager to succeed and there cannot be a better stage
than Super Rugby.
"This weekend's game against the Bulls will be a big test," concluded
Habana visited his old team-mates at training on Wednesday as he is currently
recovering from a hamstring injury.
He is expected to be back in action for Toulon by the end of February.
15 Jurgen Visser
, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Pierre Spies
(captain), 7 Arno Botha
, 6 Deon Stegmann
, 5 Grant Hattingh
, 4 Flip vd Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Callie Visagie
, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku
, 17 Marcel vd Merwe, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jono Ross
, 20 Rudy Paige
, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers
, 23 Travis IsmaielStormers:
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Damian de Allende, 10. Demetri Catrakilis
, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Schalk Burger
6. Siya Kolisi
, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Rynhardt Elstadt, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg
, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Alistair Vermaak/Justin Ackerman, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Michael Rhodes
, 21. Nizaam Carr, 22. Nic Groom, 23. Gary van Aswegen, 24. Scott van Breda, 25. Ryno Eksteen, 26. Deon Fourie