Stormers counting on young blood
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:25
Youngsters arrive with a spring in their step
Deon Fourie expects the young additions to the Stormers touring squad to provide much-needed energy against the Reds.
The Stormers have flown in some young blood for their last tour game against the Reds in Brisbane this weekend and are already feeling the positive energy the rookies have brought with them.
The versatile Fourie, who will play at hooker against the Reds after featuring at flank so far this season, hopes this energy and excitement can rub-off on to the rest of squad in order to get them over the line at the end of a disastrous tour.
Rookie Super Rugby players Mthetheleli Fuzani and Sikhumbuzo Notshe arrived in Brisbane as replacements for injured players, having joined fellow young guns Jurie van Vuuren and Stephan Coetzee .
Van Vuuren and Notshe are still eligible for the Western Province Under-21 team this year, but could find themselves pressed into action in some way in the Stormers' final tour match.
"It's never great to lose players to injury, but when you see the youngsters arrive with a spring in their step it keeps you feeling positive," Fourie said
"I remember my first Super Rugby tour, having flown over as a replacement myself, and you can see that these guys are determined to make their mark and challenge for a full-time place.
"For us, as the senior guys, we try to help and guide the newer guys as much as possible, but having these new guys in the mix, learning their trade at Super Rugby level, can only be a good thing for Western Province Rugby in the future."
Fourie made his Stormers debut back in 2008 - as a replacement against the Crusaders - making his first start in 2010 (in the No.2 jersey).
This week he looks set to return to the front row, having served the team so well in the back row up until now this season, but injuries have necessitated yet another enforced - and injury-related - switch to the Stormers pack.
"I haven't played at hooker since last year's tour, but it's not as if I've never played there before," he said.
"It's all about getting one's rhythm back [as a hooker] and once you've got that back it's kind of like riding a bicycle - you never forget the finer details."
The Reds and Stormers have met on eight previous occasions in Brisbane, with both teams boasting four victories each.
The Men from Brisbane, however, are back home from a tough two-match tour of South Africa - no doubt eager to prove themselves at the Suncorp Stadium.
The Stormers' all-action forward said: "They'll be hurting... but so are we after a similarly tough tour.
"I guess they would like to prove themselves against a fourth South African team [in a row], having also played the Cheetahs before their tour, but we're pretty desperate for a win too.
"Yes, we haven't picked up a win on tour yet, but we're still positive and determined to head home with a valuable win under the belt," added Fourie.
"We still have seven home games ahead of us, along with a few away games against SA opposition, but we would dearly like to return home with some momentum which a win over the Reds would certainly provide."
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