Habana back on Stormers duty
Cape Town - Despite running out for the Springboks on Saturday, Stormers wing Bryan Habana reported for training at the Cape side's Bellville training ground on Monday.
With three Super Rugby matches remaining for the Stormers, starting with a tricky assignment against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday, Habana's presence at training would serve as a welcome boost ahead of their remaining fixtures.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said Habana's decision to attend training showed the importance of the remaining fixtures.
"Boks like Habana were given off from training but by training today shows how important the last three games are for the Stormers," Coetzee said.
"It says a lot for the type of player he is and the younger ones can learn from him.
"We give players off as a way of managing them and also keeping an eye on their futures.
"The (Super Rugby) tournament is definitely not over for us and we're looking to preserve our proud record at Newlands. We've only lost once at Newlands this year, and that was once too many."
With the Stormers appearing unlikely to reach the playoffs of this year's Super Rugby tournament, Coetzee confirmed that Springbok captain Jean de Villiers would not be in contention for a place in Saturday's line-up, due to an injury which put him in doubt for the Boks' comfortable victory over Samoa at the weekend.
"Jean will be rested this weekend, and that decision is in the interest of the country (Springbok team)," Coetzee said.
"Medically he's not ready to play just yet and it's too early to say when he'll be in the mix again."
Coetzee, however, added that fellow Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Habana would be considered for the clash against the Cheetahs.
"I will go with medical advice about which Springboks should play but there are national squad players like Gio (Aplon) and Juan (De Jongh) who haven't had game time and they will play," he said.
"Gio and Juan are keen to join the action again and they are looking forward to testing themselves by playing against a quality side like the Cheetahs."
Meanwhile, Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt are still on the injury list and they are expected to start training again next week.
In the absence of De Villiers, Coetzee said he would have to appoint a new captain for Saturday's match.
"There are quite a few (players) who are in the running because we have a big leadership group in the squad.
"Players like Deon (Fourie), Tiaan (Liebenberg) and Bryan (Habana) are some of the candidates that come to mind."