Stormers stick with Siya as Super Rugby skipper
Cape Town - Flank Siya Kolisi will again lead the Stormers in this year's Super Rugby competition.
The announcement is yet to be made official but Netwerk24 has it on good authority that Kolisi will again lead the Cape franchise in 2019.
The 27-year-old was also the national captain in 2018 and made history by becoming the first black Springbok captain in Test rugby.
Stormers coach Fleck will therefore resist the temptation of allowing Kolisi to keep a low profile during Super Rugby - which could have relieved some pressure in a year the player is likely to lead the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup.
In December last year, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus indicated that Kolisi would lead the team at the showpiece event in Japan.
Kolisi captained the Boks in 13 of their 14 Tests in 2018. They won seven of those 13 games.
"There are still some people who would love to see the Boks fail... some people still upset about the past... Siya doesn't get positive feedback everywhere he goes," Erasmus told England's Daily Mirror.
"But the way he's handled it so far... I’ve got no doubt that... barring injury or something really bad going wrong, he'll be our captain through to Japan."
Kolisi struggled more at the Stormers, who finished a lowly 11th in Super Rugby, winning just six of 16 games.
The Stormers on Wednesday confirmed three warm-up games in preparation for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
The first pre-season fixture will see them play two opposed chukkas against a Combined Club XV made up of top local non-university club talent and then two opposed chukkas against False Bay RFC at Philip Herbstein fields in Constantia on Saturday (January 26).
That will be followed by their clash against the Bulls as part of the SuperHero doubleheader the following Sunday (February 3), which will also see the Stormers wear their Marvel Thor SuperHero kit for the first time.
The final warm-up game will see the Stormers take on Boland at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday, February 8 ahead of their opening Super Rugby game against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria the following weekend (February 16).
Meanwhile, the Stormers management team is also yet to be confirmed. There was disunity among the coaches last season, with assistant coach Paul Treu particularly unhappy, accusing his colleagues of discrimination.
A recent report indicated that Treu would not form part of the coaching team this year. Instead, he is expected to take more of an off-field position that will see him work closely with director of rugby Gert Smal and focus on analysis.
There is also confusion over the role of New Zealand skills coach Paul Feeney. Feeney was central to the list of grievances filed by Treu last year, and Afrikaans newspaper Rapport indicated that the uncertainty surrounding his role is what has delayed the announcement of the Super Rugby coaching team.
The highly-rated John Dobson, Western Province's Currie Cup coach, is expected to assist Fleck during Super Rugby.