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    Time off for Stormers' Bok trio

    2013-11-20 09:20
    Cape Town - The Stormers will give top Springboks Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth an extended rest period during their pre-season preparations.

    The Stormers, who finished seventh in this year's Super Rugby competition, will start their pre-season preparations next Monday.

    Coach Allister Coetzee said the top Bok trio would be given off until January to rest and recuperate after a gruelling season.

    “Springbok touring squad members like Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Siya Kolisi, Louis Schreuder and Gio Aplon will miss the first week of pre-season training, but will join us from week two onwards, but others like Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen and Jean de Villiers will rejoin us in January only - along with (Argentine lock) Manuel Carizza," Coetzee said on the Stormers website.

    “We will announce our initial pre-season training squad later this week, but we will, as always, invite a few younger players - from this year’s successful Under-21 group and next year’s WP Rugby Institute intake - to join our (pre-season) preparations,” said Coetzee.

    The pre-season squad will have a break over the Festive Season, their last day of training will be on Friday, December 20, before they reconvene on January 7, 2014. A squad of players will also travel to Hermanus later in January for the annual Stormers pre-season camp.

    The Stormers will play three friendlies - against the Bulls, the Kings and Boland - in February 2014, ahead of next year's tournament.

    All three matches will be played away from home, in Polokwane (v Bulls) and Port Elizabeth (v Kings), with the venue for the third friendly, against Boland, yet to be confirmed. Boland, as the hosts, will decide on the kick-off time and venue at a later stage.

    “The three friendlies will test us - all in a different way - and allow us to work on a few things ahead of our first Super Rugby game (against the Lions on Saturday, February 22).

    “Three fixtures are more than enough and will give us plenty of time to test things in a game situation and we’re more than happy to move straight from our friendlies into our first competitive match of the 2014 season," concluded Coetzee.

    Stormers' 2014 pre-season fixtures:

    Saturday, February 1:
    Bulls v Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane) - 17:00

    Friday, February 7:
    Kings v Stormers, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth) - 19:00

    Saturday, February 15:
    Boland v Stormers, venue and kick-off time TBC

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