Stormers have 'right mix' for Brumbies

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 15:51
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes the experience of players like Juan de Jongh and Dewaldt Duvenage is needed against the table-topping Brumbies.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes the experience of players like Juan de Jongh and Dewaldt Duvenage is needed against the table-topping Brumbies.

Coetzee made several changes to the starting XV for Saturday's Round Six Super Rugby encounter at Newlands.

The fit-again Bok centre, De Jongh, will start at outside centre - his first competitive match of the year, having picked up a hamstring injury during a pre-season match against the Cheetahs early last month.

The return of De Jongh sees captain Jean de Villiers shift to inside centre, with the promising young midfield star Damian de Allende dropping down to the bench.

Duvenage takes over at scrumhalf from Nic Groom, who also drops to the bench, Gerhard van den Heever comes in for his first start in place of the injured Bryan Habana.

The only change to the pack sees veteran Bok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg taking over at hooker and Deon Fourie also on the bench.

However, it is the axing of the in-form De Allende raised some eyebrows - even with a Bok of the quality of De Jongh coming in.

"Damien played very well against the Chiefs," Coetzee said, when asked about the team selection at a media briefing at Newlands on Wednesday.

"Juan [de Jongh] obviously has been there and done it - he is a Springbok."

Coetzee admitted that De Jongh was the right man for the way they want to play against the unbeaten Australian team.

"He is the right guy to face this big line-speed they [the Brumbies] come with," the Stormers coach said, adding: "[De Jongh's] experience also played a role, as well as how we want to play.

"We know Damien is big and physical and he can still play a role off the bench.

"I have also said before that we will look at rotation where we need it and taking into consideration who the opposition is and what they bring to the table."

Asked about the return of Duvenage, Coetzee said he brings with him a specific skillset, which they will need this weekend - while he will also cover flyhalf.

"He has done that [covered No.10] before," the coach said, adding: "Dewaldt is an experienced player - there will be a lot of pressure this weekend and we want to make sure there is accuracy in the system.

"Dewaldt has played against the Brumbies before and he understand the heat and pressure we will be under, so hopefully with his experience he can handle that.

"He can make sure Elton Jantjies gets some support in terms of the [tactical] kicking as well and not all the kicking [being done] just by Elton.

"It is his first start this season, but I'm pleased with his progress."

He said Liebenberg also brings with him specific skills, which they need this weekend.

Springbok utility back Jaco Taute is also back in the mix, after taking a knock to his groin region against the Bulls in the Stormers' opening game.

However, he will play off the bench, with Joe Pietersen starting.

"He [Taute] has been out for a few weeks and as a team we have really moved on and we have evolved a bit. I feel the right call is to play Jaco off the bench."

By Jan de Koning

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26