Stage set for De Allende return
Cape Town - Damian de Allende is back.
Having been named on the bench for Friday night's Super Rugby clash between the Stormers and the Sunwolves at Newlands, the 24-year-old is set for his first appearance of the season after having been sidelined by a serious ankle injury.
His return comes at the perfect time for the Stormers after a week in which they lost both Eben Etzebeth (4-6 weeks) and Kurt Coleman (9 months) to injury.
De Allende was one of the standout Springbok performers in 2015 and his return is also good news for whoever the new Springbok coach is ahead of the June Tests against Ireland.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is as pleased as anybody to have De Allende back.
"He’s been out for quite some time. We had to hold him back
… it was quite a big injury," the coach said in the build-up to the Sunwolves match.
"It’s fantastic having him back, just having him
out on the training paddock … you can see immediately the influence he has on
the youngsters in terms of the way he thinks about the game and his
"He brings a wealth of experience.
"He certainly was a world class
player at the World Cup but I’ve got a responsibility to bring him back easily
and manage him. I don’t want to just throw him into the deep end."
The return of De Allende does give Fleck more options in his midfield, with Juan de Jongh now able to move back his more familiar position at outside centre.
Friday night's match kicks off at 19:00.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Mifiposeti Paea, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Ed Quirk, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Timothy Bond, 4 Shinya Makabe, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Andrew Durutalo, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura