Captain Burger ready to roll

Wed, 16 Jan 2013 16:25
Large schalkburgerstormerstraining Large schalkburgerstormerspresser Large schalkburgerinjured

Schalk Burger says he is reinvigorated and champing at the bit to return to the pitch and lead the Stormers to their maiden Super Rugby title.

Schalk Burger says he is reinvigorated and champing at the bit to return to the pitch and lead the Stormers to their maiden Super Rugby title.

The fit-again Springbok flank was on Wednesday reinstated as captain of the Cape-based franchise, with Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers to serve as vice-captain.

Burger has been sidelined for over a year following a knee injury he sustained in the opening round clash against the Hurricanes last season.

The 29-year-old said he is honoured to regain the captaincy but played down his appointment, saying his role will be simplified by leaders such as De Villiers and Currie Cup-winning captain Deon Fourie and several experienced campaigners.

"Obviously it is nice captaining the side again but it is not about me, we have got a great group of experienced leaders and as a team we lead the team together, I have just got to do some post-match interviews and keep you guys [media] happy,” Burger said on Wednesday.
 
"I feel reasonably good but obviously pre-season is a very tough time. It is good to be out on the rugby field, last year was a bit of a disaster so I am looking forward to it [the start of the season].”

Burger said his injury-enforced lay-off gave him ample rest to heal a number for niggling injuries and reignited his passion for the game.

"Obviously for me I have got to try and get my conditioning to a level where I can be playing some good rugby again. I have got a lot of energy having spent a year on the sidelines which gives you some extra motivation so I am looking forward to the season,” he said.  
 
Burger added that he would curb his enthusiasm and pace himself as best as possible when he does return to the field as to lessen the risk of re-injuring himself.

"Always when you get back from injury there is still a little bit of doubt so I don't want to create any expectations for myself, but you get yourself into form by training well and putting in the hard yards makes it a lot easier,” he said.

"I am just really looking forward to playing rugby again, a lot of the time when you are playing week-in week-out it is easy to become one-dimensional and get a bit stale, but having spent 12 months away from rugby hopefully I have got a little bit of a different outlook on it and can put that to good use this season.”

The hard-as-nails Springbok veteran admitted that the rehabilitation process was often difficult both mentally and physically.   

"I think every second person I walked past when I was doing grocery shopping asked me 'are you still playing rugby or have you retired?'

"Obviously it is tough - we are rugby players and we want to play rugby, so when you do get a bad injury like I had it is tough to deal with.

"It was fantastic in a personal capacity obviously to spend some time with my wife and my little kid, I can tell you that I am an expert on the nappy drill, but spending this week with the team you realise how much you miss rugby so it is nice to be back on the field running around and hopefully I can play some proper rugby this year.

"I am taking the view that this was kind of my sabbatical, and if the knee holds up hopefully I can play rugby now until 2025.”

Although Burger missed out on Western Province’s Currie Cup triumph last year, he said it could be the springboard the Stormers need to finally clinch the elusive Super Rugby title.  

"I think it is a big thing for the team mentally, we have created a lot of opportunities throughout our title drought and unfortunately it just didn't come our way so I think it is a nice step in the right direction mentally.
 
"Super Rugby is a big competition so hopefully we can put ourselves in contention, and then hopefully this time we can win a semi and a final. It is still a long season and you don't want to jump the gun so we will take this competition week by week.”

Scotland vs England
sast: 18h45 | local: 16h45

  • 22 | 13
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0