Stormers 'have a plan' to rest Boks
Cape Town - The last thing the Stormers would want is to go into their final conference match against the Sharks in Durban unsure of their place in the tournament playoffs and without their best side available.
But with every passing week that Allister Coetzee selects Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen in his starting line-up, the chances of that happening increase.
The Springbok duo will start against the Rebels on Saturday, while Burger reportedly has to be rested two more times in Super Rugby this season, in line with Saru's World Cup request. Vermeulen has to rest once more.
Coetzee might be hoping that, with the Bulls on tour, his side can wrap up qualification to the playoffs before that game at King's Park on June 13.
The Stormers still have matches against the Cheetahs and the Lions at Newlands to come before the Sharks, and five log points against the Rebels on Saturday would go a long way towards easing the concern of going into one of those clashes without the Springbok stalwarts.
Coetzee this week again would not give too much away, but he re-emphasised that there was a plan in place.
"At the business end of the season I would like to select my best possible side," Coetzee said.
"(This is) Definitely the best possible team ... we will assess and see every week our position in terms of resting and going forward. Yes, we still have plans and I have spoken to the players individually in terms of what the plan is."
The coach also acknowledged that it was a sign of respect to the Rebels not to rest any key players, indicative of how highly he rates the Australian outfit.
"Especially after a bye. Bye hangovers are common features in this competition, where you don't seem to get it right after a bye ... for us it is important to get the right team and the right plans," he said.
"We are aware of how they have performed and how they have improved over the years. The secret of this competition is to be up for every game, it doesn't matter who you play.
"We know that this Rebels team is as good as any other in the comp ... this is really a proper team and we have prepared accordingly."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:10.