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    Stormers to lose De Allende again?

    2016-04-19 07:25

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - As Damian de Allende approaches full fitness there is still uncertainty surrounding his exact role at the Stormers for the rest of this Super Rugby season. 

    With just two Sevens World Series tournaments left before the Rio Olympics in August, De Allende is running out of time to prove his fitness and worth to Blitzboks coach Neil Powell.

    The Paris leg of the Sevens World Series takes place on May 14 and 15 while the season-ending London leg takes place on May 21 and 22. 

    Should De Allende want to be a part of the 12-man squad that travels to Brazil, then he will have to feature in at least one, and probably both, of those tournaments. 

    That means that he could miss the Stormers' trip to Singapore to take on the Sunwolves on May 14 and, more significantly, the clash against the Bulls at Loftus on May 21. 

    Then, of course, should De Allende make the Olympic squad he will be expected to be a part of training camps and preparation for the Games. 

    With the Super Rugby group stages only ending two weeks before the Olympics begin, De Allende's inclusion in the squad for Rio would certainly have an impact on his participation for the Stormers during the business end of the season. 

    But coach Robbie Fleck is seemingly relaxed in the midst of all of the uncertainty. 

    "Those discussions were made early in the year prior to his injury … obviously with his injury that does change things," he said.

    "It’s partly my responsibility to get him back .. not only for the Stormers but for South Africa and the Springboks.

    "If he gets called up to the Sevens and Damian is keen to go to the Olympics then it’s also my responsibility to get him ready for that.

    "He’s got a huge opportunity to play for the Springboks and the Olympic side … right now his focus is with us.

    "He’s got to get as fit as possible and play his best rugby for us and should he get a call-up, then great. We’ll deal with it like we’ve dealt with every other situation that’s come across our desk this year."

    Having made just two Super Rugby appearances off the bench this year due to a severe ankle injury, De Allende is nearing a full recovery and is a possibility to start against the Reds in Cape Town this Saturday. 

    "If he keeps working as hard as he is during the weeks then he’ll get his start," said Fleck.

    "He’s an important player for us and his management is crucial ... but he’s looking good.

    "Both times he’s come off the bench he’s had a bit of an impact so when we do select him hopefully he takes it both hands and shows what his quality is."

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:00.

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
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    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
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