Cape Town - England Sevens star Mat Turner has been given an opportunity to play himself into the Stormers’ Super Rugby plans.
Turner has been training with the Stormers during the pre-season, with coach Allister Coetzee saying a few weeks ago that he wasn’t contracted and had just asked if he could join the practices as a way to keep himself fit, reports the supersport.com website.
Coetzee also said that should Turner want to play for the Stormers, he would have to work his way in through the system, meaning Vodacom Cup.
However, the injury situation at the Stormers is now dire enough as the new Super Rugby season approaches for Turner to be given a playing opportunity, which he will be afforded off the bench in Saturday’s final warm-up fixture against the Boland Cavaliers at the Cape Town Stadium.
With the Stormers being on the look-out for quick, big wings, Turner can certainly solve a potential problem for the Cape franchise if he performs well when given an opportunity against Boland.
Springbok Sevens star Danwel Demas is another non-contracted player who will get an opportunity in Saturday’s game, as is his fellow Sevens international Tshotsho Mbovane.
The Stormers team has a second or third string look to it as several top players are still unavailable, with Coetzee not prepared to risk the likes of Ruan Botha, Frans Malherbe, Nizaam Carr, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende as they come back from injuries.
Time will tell how many of those players, none of whom have played much rugby so far this year, will be in the selection mix for the 14 February Super Rugby opener against the Bulls at Loftus.
Injuries in some areas have already robbed the Stormers of depth, most notably the second row, where Eben Etzebeth and Manuel Carizza are both out injured while Gerbrandt Grobler is out after failing a drug test late last season.
The youthful Stormers team will be led by hooker Neil Rautenbach and while head coach Coetzee will be preparing the side during the week, newly appointed Western Province Currie Cup coach John Dobson will be taking the reins of the team at kick-off.
An interesting selection is that of the talented former WP under-21 hooker Michael Willemse at openside flank, which is an area where the Stormers could be short should Carr and Kolisi experience any more injury problems.Stormers team:
15. EW Viljoen, 14. Tshotsho Mbovane, 13. Jarryd Sage, 12. Kyle Lombard, 11. Danwel Demas, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Godlen Masimla, 8. Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7. Luke van der Smit 6. Michael Willemse, 5. Chris van Zyl, 4. David Ribbans, 3. Frans van Wyk, 2. Neil Rautenbach (captain), 1. Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16. Liam Hendricks, 17. Deacon Chowlse, 18. Burger van Niekerk, 19. Johan Momsen, 20. Luke Stringer, 21. Justin Phillips, 22. SP Ferreira, 23. Ryno Eksteen, 24. Mathew Turner, 25. Shuiab Samaai
Western Province Emerging team to face Boland:
15. Heinrich Arendse (Young stars), 14. Jaco van Wyk (Milnerton), 13. Lubabalo Quluba (Youn Peoples), 12. Eathan Coenraad (Bellville), 11. Steven Julies (Kraaifontein), 10. Shane Vallender (Hamiltons - captain), 9. Niyaaz Jappie (SK Walmers), 8. Christie Niekerk (Kuils River), 7. Brodie Blows (Villagers), 6. Waldo Etzebeth (Brackenfell), 5. Wade Schoor (Primrose), 4. Christiaan Burger (Milnerton), 3. Ryan Germishuys (Villagers), 2. Charlton van Jaarsveld (Tygerberg), 1. Dale Dunn (Milnerton)
Substitutes: 16. Xander Kuys (Kraaifontein), 17. Sikho Langa (Langa), 18. Christo van Wyk (Tygerberg), 19. Nezaam Bewee (Primrose), 20. Madeeg Davids (SK Walmers), 21. Ruan Vermaak (Milnerton), 22. Emile Etzebeth (Brackenfell), 23. Jerome Mgaga (Khayelitsha), 24. Maxwell Stoffels (Bellville), 25. Jason van Rooyen (Kuilsriver), 26. Andy Huysamen (Northerns), 27. Anthony Taylor (Young stars), 28. Fabian van der Vent (Young stars), 29. Monre Lingeveldt (Hamiltons), 30. Sibusiso Monco (Khayelitsha)