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    Stormers boosted by Pieter-Steph return

    2018-02-20 10:30

    Lloyd Burnard

    Cape Town - Pieter-Steph du Toit is fit and available for the Stormers’ Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday. 

    Having missed this past weekend's 28-20 win over the Jaguares at Newlands with a lower back strain, the Springbok forward was then included in the touring squad for fixtures against the Waratahs, Crusaders and Highlanders. 

    There was, though, still some uncertainty surrounding his fitness for the first game of the tour, but listening to forwards coach Russell Winter speaking on Tuesday, it seems that the 25-year-old is good to go. 

    In Du Toit's absence, JD Schickerling put in a man of the match performance in the No 5 jersey against the Jaguares.

    "We've got very good locks at the union and getting Pieter-Steph back is just another boost," Winter said from Sydney.

    "It's great having him back. He can cover loose forward as well and he's very good in the lineouts.

    "He's going to definitely make a difference to the side and I'm looking forward to seeing him if he gets chosen on Saturday."

    While the Springboks and Allister Coetzee settled on using Du Toit at No 7 for much of 2017, the Stormers still see him as a natural second rower. 

    "I see him as a lock who can cover loose forward ... predominantly, he will play lock," Winter confirmed.

    "He's a very good No 5 lock, he calls the lineouts really well and he adds some mobility to the pack."

    Given how well Schickerling and Chris van Zyl went for the Stormers on Saturday, coach Robbie Fleck may be tempted to ease Du Toit into the starting line-up by selecting him on the bench for Saturday. 

    Fleck will name his team on Thursday. 

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