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Wilco Louw © Gallo Images

Timely increase to Stormers’ selection pool



The DHL Stormers will be in a low space after their defeat to the Emirates Lions, but they will have been energised after their week off by the return of several injured players.

It was already announced before they took their bye that Springbok prop Frans Malherbe would be back in the selection mix for the trip to Durban for this coming weekend's coastal derby against the Sharks.

Wilco Louw is still likely to start at Kings Park but the Stormers will welcome Malherbe’s experience off the bench should he be selected into the matchday squad.

According to Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney, the Stormers are in a far healthier position when it comes to personnel availability than they were two weeks ago.

“We have a few players back at training, and several of them are backs, which makes for a nice change,” said Feeney.

“Of course someone like Jean-Luc du Plessis hasn’t played a full game yet so he is likely to play for John Dobson in the SuperSport Challenge this week, and perhaps the same can be said for some of the other players, but it is a nice position to be in. We have three or four extra players which is an improvement on before, when we were a bit short at times.

“While Jean-Luc will probably need a week with Dobbo, we will be expecting JJ Engelbrecht to be back in the mix, and the same with Dan Kriel and Dewaldt Duvenage. With the team coming back from a bye this week and with half the competition completed, this is a good time to be welcoming players back. Frans (Malherbe) is also good to go.”

One player the Stormers aren’t yet fully sure about, and who could have an impact on a key part of the selection if he is available, is the physical young blindside flanker Cobus Wiese. If he plays, it would mean that Pieter-Steph du Toit could move back to lock, though given how Du Toit played at No7 against the Lions, perhaps that doesn’t matter so much.

“We will decide on Cobus over the next couple of days, but it is good to have someone like Pieter-Steph in your team as he can play two positions equally well. Against the Lions he played 45 to 50 minutes at flank and then played at lock and was equally good.”



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