All eyes on Wiese at Newlands
REACTION: Cobus Wiese will be in the spotlight when the Stormers take on the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
The 19-year-old earned his first Super Rugby cap in the 44-31 win over the Sunwolves in Singapore last weekend when he came off the replacements bench in the second half for the injured Rynhardt Elstadt.
His impressive cameo was enough to earn him a starting place in the No.6 jersey in coach Robbie Fleck's side ahead of returning Springbok Nizaam Carr, who is on the bench for Saturday's clash.
"We felt Cobus Wiese has been pretty impressive in the pre-season," said Fleck. "The impact that he had off the bench against the Sunwolves was significant enough for us to select him for this week."
Fleck added: "His [Cobus] physicality around the park is pretty impressive at the moment and he has a high work rate. His line-out skills are pretty decent and he offers us a lot of options there.
"First and foremost, he is a young kid with a lot of energy. He has a lot to prove and he has a lot to work on, but certainly there is elements there that we like, which help complements the loose forward trio."
Wiese is seen as a future star as a No.7 and he can play in the second row as well. Fleck feels that he will form a formidable combination with Siyamthanda Kolisi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe in the back row against the Cheetahs.
"I don't think it is a case of Cobus versus Nizaam. It is just the balance that we have gone for this weekend.
"Cobus was with us for the Sunwolves game and he played well and Nemo [Carr] remained behind and he is working on hard on his game.
"We felt this was the best combination for this game," said Fleck.
Meanwhile, Stormers captain Kolisi believes the personal battles on the field against the Cheetahs will add spice to fixture.
"I think it [Cheetahs game] is a step up [from the Sunwolves] because the Cheetahs are very good and it is a South African team.
"There is a lot of emotion, especially with the Springboks. There is competition there, so it gets more personal as well.
"They are a more organised team I think," said Kolisi.
By Warren Fortune