Cape Town - The Stormers will be captained
by Juan de Jongh when they open their Australasian tour against the Highlanders
at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand at the end of March.
Regular captain Duane Vermeulen is a
Springbok contracted player and may not play more than five consecutive games
as a result of conditions laid down by the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
The restriction is a measure designed to look after the physical well-being of
the Springboks who will be campaigning in the World Cup later this year.
Vermeulen has started in all the Stormers'
five matches in this season, with De Jongh his understudy.
"He's (Vermeulen) an A (category
contract) guy and he's played five games on the trot, so Juan will lead the
team (in the first tour match)," said coach Allister Coetzee at Tuesday's
press conference in Bellville. "It was the plan from the beginning to rest
him for this match (against the Highlanders). We have a bye this week, so Duane
will rest for a fortnight."
Coetzee said that De Jongh had captained
the Western Province Currie Cup-winning team with distinction.
"Juan proved he was a good captain in
the Currie Cup and we have lots of faith in him," said Coetzee. "In
Duane's absence we also have a chance to have a hard look at the depth of
leadership in the group. We have people like Schalk Burger, Michael Rhodes and
even Damian de Allende who have stepped up as leaders."
The Stormers named a 27-man group for the
tour and the selections were based on providing adequate cover for all
"We're really well covered (in
positions) and we've included five props in the group," said Coetzee.
"We have two scrumhalves and two hookers and we'll have players on standby
if injuries occur. There may be times when we have to find a player on tour to
fill a position when the need arises.
"In the back division, we need
flexibility in the outside backs and we have players that can provide that
The media raised the question of only two
scrumhalves and Coetzee became perturbed when it was suggested that the tour
would have offered Godlin Masimla a chance to fast track a promising career.
"If we suffer scrumhalf injuries there
are players who we can draft in. It's been said in the media that Cheslin
(Kolbe) could be a good scrumhalf so that might be the answer. I'm not saying
that we're looking at Cheslin as a scrumhalf. But I would think that Godlin
could be next in the pecking order of scrumhalves."
Louis Schreuder took a knock to the head in
last weekend's match against the Chiefs but has recovered sufficiently to go in
“Louis has passed a concussion test,
although he was very close to the baseline requirements," Coetzee.
After the Highlanders' clash, the Stormers
play the Hurricanes, the defending champions Waratahs and the Force.
After their defeat at the hands of Chiefs
at Newlands last weekend, Coetzee said the team had to regroup and return to
"We have to bounce back so that we can
win the first match tour. If you don't do that it can become very testing over
the rest of the tour," said Coetzee. "We know that the Highlanders
and the Hurricanes can play similar to the Chiefs so we know what we're up
"The loss against Chiefs will be a
failure if we didn’t learn from it."
Stormers touring squad (27):
Ruan Botha - Lock
Schalk Burger - Loose forward
Manuel Carizza - Lock
Nizaam Carr - Loose forward
Demetri Catrakilis - Flyhalf
Kurt Coleman - Flyhalf
Damian de Allende - Centre
Juan de Jongh - Centre (vice-captain)
Eben Etzebeth - Lock
Nic Groom - Scrumhalf
Huw Jones - Centre/wing
Oli Kebble - Loosehead prop
Steven Kitshoff - Loosehead prop
Jean Kleyn - Lock
Vincent Koch - Tighthead prop
Cheslin Kolbe - Fullback/wing
Siya Kolisi - Loose forward
Johnny Kotze - Wing/centre
Dillyn Leyds - Wing/fullback/flyhalf
Frans Malherbe - Tighthead prop
Bongi Mbonambi - Hooker
Scarra Ntubeni - Hooker
Michael Rhodes - Flank/lock
Louis Schreuder - Scrumhalf
Kobus van Wyk - Wing/centre
Alistair Vermaak - Loosehead prop
Duane Vermeulen - No 8 (captain)