Jean fit to face Bulls
Jean fit to face BullsSHARE
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers is expected to be fit for the Stormers' final Super Rugby game of the season against the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
The experienced centre has been sidelined recently by a sternum injury he picked up with the Springboks, but Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is confident that he will be ready to go for the crunch clash with the Bulls.
"Jean will be back, he is looking good for this weekend," he said.
The biggest question mark in the Stormers camp surrounds fullback Joe Pietersen, who will be given until Wednesday to recover from a serious bruise on his leg.
"Joe Pietersen has a severe hematoma on his quad and we will give him until Wednesday and see how he goes," Coetzee explained.
The Stormers coach said that if Pietersen is not fit he is likely to turn to the experience of Gio Aplon, rather than throwing exciting SA Under-20 talent Cheslin Kolbe in the deep end against the Bulls.
"We have got Cheslin here, but it would be silly just to chuck him in. I think Gio Aplon has done duty for us there before and Gerhard van den Heever also performed very well this last weekend.
"There will be plenty of time for Cheslin to come through in the Currie Cup, you want to set him up to utilise his expertise by making sure he knows the systems," he said.
The only other fitness concern for Coetzee is centre Damian de Allende who is suffering from a slight ankle sprain, although he is expected to be available.
Coetzee also ruled out De Allende possibly shifting out to the wing, where he made his Currie Cup debut.
“We don’t see Damian as a wing option anymore. We’ve gone that route and I just think he’s too inexperienced, especially against a quality team like the Bulls. At this level you’re actually wasting his talent there.”
Bok prop Pat Cilliers and utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt will also be available to start after coming off the bench in the win against the Kings, although hooker Tiaan Liebenberg is still a week away from full fitness.