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    Stormers to focus on rotation

    2013-01-30 08:40
    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes the key to success in 2013 will be to rotate his players to make sure they can field their best team at the business end of the Super Rugby competition.

    The Stormers have come up short over the last two years, losing home semi-finals with an often depleted line-up due to injuries.

    However, this year the coach has more depth at his disposal and he plans to make use of his advantage.

    "Gone are the days that a player needs to feel intimidated by another quality player," Coetzee told Die Burger's website.

    "It's all about clever rotation to make sure we have the best possible team available at the end of the competition.

    "If we'll let the players play non-stop, we will pick up injuries and eventually sit with an inexperienced team.

    "This is the first time that we have enough depth to rotate our players in a smart manner."

    And it's especially the new signings from the Lions which will make the coach happy, with prop Pat Cilliers capable of packing down at either side of the scrum.

    Coetzee will have to choose between Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes at flank. That's if he doesn't consider picking Schalk Burger as blindside flank in order to accommodate Siya Kolisi in the starting team. Elstadt could also help alleviate the workload at lock should Springbok Eben Etzebeth need a breather.

    Elton Jantjies and Peter Grant will also be rotated at No 10, with the latter also expected to fill in for Jean de Villiers at inside centre during some parts of the season.

    Damian de Allende offers valuable depth at centre and wing, while Jaco Taute and Joe Pietersen will fight it out for the fullback position.

    Dewaldt Duvenage, Louis Schreuder and Nic Groom will also duel each other hard for the No 9 jersey.

    The Stormers play their first game of the year against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with another friendly against Boland scheduled for Saturday, February 9, at the Cape Town Stadium.

    They open their Super Rugby account away against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday, February 22.

    HAVE YOUR SAY: The Stormers seem to have a lot more depth in key positions this year? Do you see them breaking their Super Rugby duck by going all the way? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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