Stormers train in wet Auckland

    2013-04-22 12:01
    Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

    Cape Town - The Stormers had their first training session in Auckland on Monday, as they step up preparations for the first match of their four-game Super Rugby tour of New Zealand and Australia.

    Speaking after training, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said: "The only two guys who didn't participate in team training were Eben Etzebeth and Elton Jantjies, who did controlled training under the medical staff, but everyone else seems to be fine.

    "Elton looks very good and at this stage I'd say he has an 80% chance of playing against the Hurricanes. Eben will definitely not play this week, but he's on track for next week."

    The Stormers touched down in Auckland on Sunday after a trip which saw them fly from Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Sydney and then, finally, on to Auckland.

    "We had a smooth flight to Auckland, we got here without any complaints - we've been doing this trip for years now, there's no excuses of jet-lag," said Coetzee.

    "We're here to do a job. The players have done well, I could see at training that there was a nice energy and we're looking forward to stepping up preparations. We're all excited to be here and (we're) looking forward to the first game (against the Hurricanes)."

    Meanwhile, speaking on Monday morning, Stormers manager Chippie Solomon said: "It hasn't stopped raining since we arrived here, but, really; the travel was hassle-free and enjoyable which augurs well for the next four weeks. I must thank the SAA staff for making the entire trip an absolute pleasure for everyone!

    "The players will have a light session this morning, some swimming and stretching, we will then have a team meeting and then the guys will hit the training ground."

    Solomon also revealed that about 10-15 supporters welcomed the team at the airport in Auckland on Sunday night.

    "It's a few expats living here," explained the Stormers manager, "the same guys support us when we play over here and it's really heartening to know that we've got some great fans standing behind us."

    The Stormers will be based in Auckland for the majority of the next two weeks and will travel to Palmerston North on Thursday ahead of this Friday's clash against the Hurricanes at the FMG Stadium (kick-off is at 09:35 SA time). They will return to Auckland on Saturday morning.

    The squad will move on to Sydney after their second tour match, against the Blues in Albany (on Friday, May 3 at 09:35), where they will also be based for almost a fortnight for games against the Waratahs (in Sydney on Saturday, May 11 at 11:40) and the Rebels (in Melbourne on Friday, May 17 at 11:40).

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