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    Stormers wary of Fijian flyer

    2012-04-27 09:39
    Cape Town - Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck has labelled Fijian winger Napolioni Nalaga as one of the danger-men in the Force backline ahead of their Super Rugby clash in Perth on Saturday.

    Nalaga is back at left wing after a six-week injury layoff since injuring his ankle against the Hurricanes in round three.

    Nalaga, who joined the Force as an overseas player this season, made it through 30 minutes of action for Western Australian club Palmyra last week.

    "He is raring to go," Force skills and defence coach Phil Blake said of the Fijian international.

    "We just need make the best use of his ability by getting him into the game.

    "I have no doubt he can be a real force for us this weekend and for the remainder of the campaign."

    Nalaga represented Fiji at last year's World Cup in New Zealand, and at 1.91m and 105 kg is sure to test the Stormers' defensive structures. In the 2008/2009 season he was named French Top 14 Player of the Year and was a member of the Clermont team that won the 2009/10 French title.

    Fleck was quick to single Nalaga out as one of the players the Stormers need to look out for.

    "The Western Force have big and powerful backline players. There's the Fijian (Nalaga) and also a guy like Alfie Mafi that we have to be wary of," Fleck told Die Burger.

    The Force are currently languishing in 12th spot on the overall log having lost six out of eight games.

    But Fleck feels they're a much stronger team than their log position suggests.

    "They were unlucky at times. The Force did really well against the Reds (when they won 45-19) and in terms of competing for opponents' ball in the lineouts they are the third best in the competition. Nathan Sharpe is also a big threat.

    "There's also a very good loose-trio with David Pocock, Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman. It will be tough to beat them on the ground," said Fleck.


    15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Rory Sidey, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 David Harvey, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan

    Substitutes: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Ben Seymour, 22 Samu Wara

    15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Bryan Habana, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Danie Poolman, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker (captain), 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
    Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Don Armand, 19. Deon Fourie, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. JP du Plessis

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