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Stormers decision to benefit Boks

Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:56
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If I left the decision to Jean, he would probably have soldiered on
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The Stormers will rest Springbok captain Jean de Villiers this week, because it is in the best interest of the national team.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee revealed on Monday that De Villiers will miss the encounter with the Cheetahs, at Newlands on Saturday, through a sternum injury sustained against Scotland.

The men from Cape Town, outside the top 10 and with nothing more than a remote mathematical chance of reaching the play-offs, gave all their Boks the option to sit out training on Monday.

Only record-breaking wing Bryan Habana did not take up the option.

The other Boks, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and De Villiers watched their teammates from the sidelines.

"We felt it is the right way, to manage those players," Coetzee told a media scrum - ahead of the Round 18 encounter, that will see Super Rugby resume after the June Test window.

Coetzee said all the Boks, with the exception of De Villiers, should be back at training on Tuesday and available for Saturday's encounter with a Cheetahs team chasing a play-off spot for the first time.

"He [De Villiers] is definitely not going to be available for us this week," the Stormers mentor said, adding it is in the best interest of the player.

"We all know he was touch-and-go to play [in the Test against Samoa last Saturday].

"He is still in a lot of pain," Coetzee said, adding: "It is in his best interest, the team and also the country's best interest to rest a player like Jean - who has been playing throughout the [Super Rugby] tournament without rest.

"Medically he is not ready for this weekend and my policy is not to play a player if he is not fit."

He said they will assess the Bok skipper again next week to see if he will be available for the final two rounds of the Super Rugby season.

"If I left that decision with Jean, he would probably have soldiered on.

"That is not in the best interest of the player, the team and nor in the long-term interest of the national team."

Utility for Deon Fourie is in line to take over the captaincy of the Stormers.

"He [Fourie] captained us in the Currie Cup and he is definitely one of the candidates for this weekend," Coetzee said.

"With senior players like Tiaan [Liebenberg], Juan [de Jongh] and Bryan [Habana] we are very fortunate to have that sport of leadership group in the side."

In other injury news Coetzee revealed that they have required the services of seasoned prop Ross Geldenhuys, on loan from the Kings.

Bok prop Pat Cilliers and utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt started with their on-field rehabilitation on Monday, but will only come into contention for selection next week.

Michael Rhodes will hopefully be fit for the final league fixture against the Bulls next month.

Bok loose forward Duane Vermeulen (knee) and flyhalf Peter Grant (ankle and shoulder) are not available for the rest of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

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