Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says the tighthead battle
between Vincent Koch and Frans Malherbe is a pleasant headache to have when
selecting his team every week.
Both players have been immensely impressive this season,
with Koch enjoying the majority of the starts in the first half of the campaign
while Malherbe featured more prominently in the second. Regardless of who has cracked the nod,
though, the Stormers have developed their scrum into one of the most respected
in the competition – with Malherbe and Koch having received much acclaim along
Coetzee has gone back to Koch this weekend, with Malherbe
dropping to the bench, but the Stormers boss says that both players will have
big roles to play this season.
"It’s an opportune time for Vince to get a start again.
Frans has done extremely well, and (it’s) the policy of making sure that both
these guys are really sharp towards the back end of the season," Coetzee said
Coetzee added that the decision to leave Malherbe on the
bench was not sparked by the fact that he had been battling with a bout of flu
"What we’ve always said at the Stormers and at Western
province is to set players up to become better players, but to become
Springboks ultimately," said Coetzee.
"And I think with the two pushing so hard, they are right up
there with the best in the country at tightheads going forward. And it’s just
to make sure that we keep creating those opportunities.
"Vince got the team off to a good start, Frans came back and
he showed he’s equally as good at scrum time and in general play. Vince knows
that he has also got to up it and make sure that he’s a tighthead who not only
The coach wants both players to utilise their opportunities
between now and the end of the season to show that they can perform on the
"That’s where we want them to be; that will set them up to
have good international careers later on in the year."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Seabelo Senatla, 13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Dillyn Leyds, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Frans Malherbe, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Kurt Coleman, 23. Huw Jones
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Rayno Benjamin