Fleck: Basson can thrive in the Cape
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers coach Robbie Fleck believes he can bring the best out of Springbok wing Bjorn Basson.
Basson joined the Stormers from the Bulls in the pre-season and we earn his first cap for the Cape side against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
The 30-year-old is one of several new faces in Robbie Fleck's matchday 23 for the clash.
"He has been great - he came in at late notice and he has had to work on his conditioning," said Fleck at the team's base in Bellville.
"We all know the class of the individual. He is a world-class player and we know what his aerial skills are like, so he certainly brings a lot of experience to the setup.
"We do have a fairly young backline this weekend and on the bench, but he brings vast experience in that position and he gives us a lot of confidence.
"He's trained incredibly hard since he joined us in the pre-season and he gets a good opportunity this weekend to show what he can do for us."
Fleck believes that the change of scenery will help Basson's career.
"He has been in one system for so long [at the Bulls]. I think he can thrive in this system here, to be honest.
"He is enjoying himself at the moment and it will be good to see how he goes with a bit of freedom and with a bit more ball in hand," Fleck added.
With several players unavailable for selection, Fleck has given a few younger members of the squad a chance to get some Super Rugby experience.
Loose forward Jaco Coetzee, scrumhalf Justin Phillips and utility back Damian Willemse are all in line to earn their first Stormers cap.
"These are not just rotations - injured players had to pull out of the game. It is not as though we are looking to rotate or give youngsters an opportunity.
"The facts are the facts; these guys get their chance and the fact that we played Damian Willemse in the pre-season and he did pretty well for us just shows our intent again to play youngsters in this competition and back them.
"He [Willemse] certainly is a player to watch for us going forward and to give him a bit of exposure at Super Rugby now will only hold him in good stead later on," said Fleck.
By Warren Fortune