Stormers spared Savea threat

    2013-04-24 11:11

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town – The touring Stormers would not be so daft as to prematurely believe that half of the battle is won, but they will also hardly be unhappy at the news that troubled wing sensation Julian Savea sidesteps their clash with the Hurricanes in Palmerston North on Friday (09:35 SA time).

    VIDEO: Interview with the Savea brothers

    The exciting All Blacks game-breaker, 22, was specifically mentioned by Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, shortly before departure a few days ago, as an obvious threat to their victory intentions in the first game of their make-or-break Australasian visit.

    But Savea has been in the news for the wrong reasons in New Zealand, after allegations that he assaulted his partner, the mother of his child.

    He faces a charge of common assault and was remanded on bail at an initial court appearance, without pleading, to May 15.

    The explosive 105kg outside back unit voluntarily eliminated himself from contention for selection against the Stormers, after some domestic eyebrows were raised when he played the last game against the Force, where the Hurricanes won 22-16.

    “Julian has made himself unavailable for selection for the Stormers game this week, before he rejoins the team next week,” coach Mark Hammett was quoted in the New Zealand Herald as saying.

    “Julian approached us on this decision, and we agree.”

    The Stormers will not be too unnerved by the fact that Savea has been replaced by 20-year-old starting debutant  Matt Proctor.

    Proctor was a member of the New Zealand squad who were runners-up to hosts South Africa at the IRB Junior World Championships last year.



    15 Andre Taylor, Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (captain), Tim Bateman, Matt Proctor, 10. Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, 8. Victor Vito, Karl Low, Brad Shields, 5. Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Motu Matu’u, Ben Franks

    Substitutes: Ash Dixon, Ben May, Mark Reddish, Faifili Levave, Ardie Savea, Chris Smylie, Tusi Pisi


    15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Rynardt Elstadt, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Nic Groom 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Damian de Allende

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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