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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Returning Springboks won’t be rushed back into action for Stormers

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Durban — The Stormers’ Springbok contingent will be re-introduced to the United Rugby Championship on a case-by-case basis and that means most of them will not play against the Dragons at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

The Boks have just returned from an arduous four-week tour of Europe and while some players carried a heavier workload than others, it is expected that most will be rested this weekend.

For the URC champions, stalwart props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, lock Marvin Orie, No 8 Evan Roos and backs Damian Willemse and Manie Libbok were all in action at Twickenham for the Boks’ resounding defeat of England.

On the same weekend, the Stormers powered to a bonus-point victory over Ospreys and a similar team will play the Dragons.

Stormers forwards coach Rito Hlungwani said in a press conference that the Boks would not be rushed back into service.

“In terms of the Springboks, we will work on a case-by-case basis,” said Hlungwani. “We have tried to create a plan for each individual. The guys who have played a lot of rugby will get a rest. The others will filter in.”

Hlungwani said that an underplayed Bok in Roos had picked up a rib injury against England and is undergoing scans before a decision is made on his availability this week.

“It’s very exciting,” said tighthead prop Neethling Fouche. “We’ve got a few guys who have been training constantly, but not getting game time. It’s really tough when you suddenly get your chance … it puts a lot of pressure on the guys.

“We saw how (lock) Gary Porter ran the lineouts. Kade (Wolhuter) came back as the flyhalf general. It’s nice for the coaches to see the guys take their chances. It also speaks to the quality of the squad and what we are about at the Stormers.”


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