Fleck hopes Etzebeth returns for Lions clash as Stormers score 14 tries in warm-up

CAPE TOWN – The Stormers got their Super Rugby pre-season off to a solid start with two wins in Cape Town on Saturday.

In sweltering heat, Robbie Fleck’s 27-man squad took on a combined club side (made up of non-university players) as well hosts False Bay RFC at the Phillip Herbstein grounds in Constantia in each half of the first of three Super Rugby warm-up games.

The Stormers group played four chukkas in total – two against each side – and scored 14 tries in total to beat their opposition 40-15 and 40-10 respectively.

Before the friendly kicked off, another 15-man Stormers group, which included 12 Springboks, took part in a conditioning session.

Following the warm-up game at False Bay RFC on Saturday, Fleck said that he was pleased with the performances on the day.

“I thought the breakdown was one of our most pleasing areas. The guys were really aggressive on the ground and that was good to see,” he said.

“We’ve also been working really hard on our conditioning, and the guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time towards the end of last season will be brought in come next week.

“Next week we’ll be closer to full strength. It’s going to be fun and games. Tactically you don’t want to show too much, but it will be a good hit-out before our first game.”

The Stormers will next week take on the Bulls as part of the SuperHero double-header, while the Lions will go up against the Sharks. Both matches will take place at Cape Town Stadium next week Sunday, February 3.

The final warm-up game will see the Stormers take on Boland at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday, February 8 before kicking off their Super Rugby proceedings against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld the following weekend.

Fleck also said they’re in a good position in terms of injuries after being in a very different space this time last year.

“Ramone Samuels and Johan du Toit are still out, EW Viljoen has a stress fracture – he had to have to surgery in this week, he’s likely to be back in March.

“(Scrumhalf) Paul de Wet should be back in training within the next two or three weeks.

“Jean-Luc du Plessis will hopefully be back for the Boland game and Eben Etzebeth will hopefully be back for the Lions game (on February 23).”

Stormers Playing Group

Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry, Kwenzo Blose, Jaco Coetzee, Dan du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Neethling Fouché, Herschel Jantjies, Daniel Jooste, Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Nico Leonard, Dillyn Leyds, SP Marais, Salmaan Moerat, Scarra Ntubeni, Justin Phillips, Marno Redelinghuys, Seabelo Senatla, Josh Stander, Edwill van der Merwe, Kobus van Dyk, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Ali Vermaak, Cobus Wiese, Nama Xaba.

Stormers Conditioning Group

Damian de Allende, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Corné Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ruhan Nel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Sergeal Petersen, JD Schickerling, Chad Solomon, Jano Vermaak, Damian Willemse.


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EbenEtzebeth - Fleck hopes Etzebeth returns for Lions clash as Stormers score 14 tries in warm-up

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