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Jean to lead from outside centre
February 06, 2013, 18:54:04


Jean to lead from outside centre

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will lead the Stormers from his less familiar midfield position of outside centre in the last Super Rugby warm-up fixture against Boland at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

With Juan de Jongh out injured and likely to miss the first Super Rugby match of the competitive season against the Bulls at Loftus on 22 February, the selection of De Villiers in the No 13 jersey alongside Damian de Allende is a significant one. Coach Allister Coetzee surprised when he chose De Allende at inside centre for last year’s Currie Cup final, but the youngster has impressed enough to be entrusted with the responsibility of wearing the No 12 in Super Rugby.

De Villiers has of course played outside centre before, and played most of the early part of the last international season in that position for the Springboks. And it is his experience that has prompted Coetzee to go for De Allende at inside centre and De Villiers at outside, rather than the other way around.

“Jean has the experience and I would rather play him at 13 than thrust Damian into a new role so early in his career,” said Coetzee at the team announcement press conference.

Although Schalk Burger is still missing because of his calf injury and De Jongh is out with a hamstring tear, Coetzee has been able to call out a team for this match that looks a fair approximation of what the full strength combination may look like for the opening Super Rugby match. Andries Bekker, Siya Kolisi, Deon Fourie, De Villiers and Rynhardt Elstadt are the players who are back from short or long term injury layoffs and missed the narrow defeat to the Cheetahs in the seasonal pipe-opener last weekend.

“It’s particularly good to have Siya and Rynhardt back in action as the loose-forwards are an area we need to have depth and where the players need to work particularly hard on their match conditioning as so much is expected of them on the field,” said Coetzee.

“It’s a pity about Schalk (still not being there), but Duane Vermeulen is playing his second game and will bring leadership. We want to see the loosies operate at 100% against Boland in preparation for the Bulls match.”

Kurt Coleman continues at flyhalf due to the absence through compassionate leave of Elton Jantjies. He will be partnered by Dewaldt Duvenage, who returns to the No 9 jersey after making his comeback from a fairly lengthy absence because of injury off the bench against the Cheetahs.

Coetzee acknowledged that the competition between scrumhalves will be particularly keen in the early season.

“We started with Louis Schreuder last week and now apart from having Dewaldt starting, we also have Nic Groom back in the mix and playing off the bench,” the coach said.

Former UCT star Groom was one of the impressive newcomers in the Western Province team that won the Currie Cup last season.

Apart from Vermeulen, five other players who were in the starting lineup in Bloemfontein wear the same numbers in this game, including Jaco Taute, who will play his second consecutive game in a Stormers back three that is exactly the same as last time out, the other players being Gio Aplon and Bryan Habana.

Although Coetzee says he is still thinking about it and hasn’t made up his mind, it would appear a fair bet that this will be the back three combination for the Bulls game provided they all get through the Boland clash unscathed.

Former Lions Springbok Pat Cilliers made his Stormers debut off the bench last week and this week he goes one better by being entrusted with the No 3 jersey ahead of young Frans Malherbe.


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3677
RE: Jean to lead from outside centre
February 06, 2013, 18:56:51

 This is a good decision. Jeans passing skills are average, so it is better that he plays outside center. 

Damian de Allende is a good prospect at 12 for the Stormers, and maybe the boks in the future. I would stick to him at 12 and let Jean fight for the 13 position with the other players. 

Dejong has over stayed his welcome and some other options need to be considered like Howard.


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RE: Jean to lead from outside centre
February 06, 2013, 20:10:17


There could be two issues here that can perjaps be read into the situation and those are -

*   that Meyer - having seen that De Villiers' performance at 13 for the Springboks were indifferent - he wants him to get further practice at 13 and asked Coetzee to arrange accordingly; or

*   that it is a further step to utillize De Allende in future mainly at 12 in an effort to ensure he develops further in that position.

De Allende is a very strong guy and he can break the line and has he ability to draw in defenders and off-loadd balls in tackle situations and to in doing that create space for outside players - making him a very good prospect at 12    His other advantage is he is speedy as well.

Insofar as the 13 position is concerned - it will be a toss up between De Villiers, De Jongh, Du Plessis  and Howard.   In th near future it is likely to be De Villiers - whilst in the langer term it could be Du Plessis orr Howard.   This will have the end objective to sharpen up the Stormers backline performances,   I think for that reason De Jongh is likelyy to br utilized rarely - if ever.

The only probem with backline play is the present flyhalf - Coleman - he really is clueess and was a major part of why the Stormers loss against the Cheetahs.  He has very limited skills - he kicked balls away aimlessly while there was an overlap in th backline - he tried to attack the gain line - when players outside of hm would do better - he kicked aimlessly most of the time  and his goalkicking was not up to standard.   This guy is a Vodacom Cup player - nothing more.


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RE: Jean to lead from outside centre
February 07, 2013, 00:43:49

Coetzee obviously did not take note of Jean's poor showings for the Boks at 13 last year - very poor selection


That poor Stormers backline has no chance with Coleman at 10 and Jean at 13 - ouch


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RE: Jean to lead from outside centre
February 07, 2013, 09:31:02

A girl

Here we have a classic case of moving of players to new positions.   Throughout his career De Villiers played at 12 or on the wing.   He was then moved to 13 - and in rare instances showed some life - but he was not really successful and on a number of cases his passing game was no good.   On the other hand he had some roll in tries being scored by the Springboks - but not to off-set the general impression that he was very average at 13 and slightly better a 12.   His defence at 13 was sound though.

Another example was the moving of Taute to 13 from full back.   He was lost in the process and his contribution to backline play was indifferent.   He made no contribution to attacking  backline play and his passing game was poor - ill-timed at best - on the rare occasions that he in fact passed the ball.   His defence in the Soweto test was inadequate.

Now lets get to the overall situation.   Due to the age factor I think De Villiers should be phased out.   In a way I hope he could obtain a foreign contract and vanish from the scene.    That may just happen towards the end of 2013 - when his contract with the Stormers will apparently expire.   That would make it feasible for the younger players to come through at 13    

In the case of Taute - he is now back at his best position.   He stll has some corrections to be made to his display.   I made some rather harsh comments about his performance against he Cheetahs last week - and watched the game again.   I mentioned two incidents where he  was found wanting.   After looking at those incidents a second time  I came to the conclusion that -

*   inteference by Habana was in the first case the reason for the mishap and Taute was in fact not to be blamed entirely for waht happened; and

*   the second "offence" was acciental and not really repetative at all.

Be it as it may - there are two elements in Taute's performances that will need some attention.   The first one is that if it is necessary to kick defensively - he has to make sure that the balls go out of play and will make a fast throw-in impossible.   A gain of say 30 meters is better than to allow opposition teams to launch counter-attacks .  The second minor problem was that if he joins the backline - his passing game is to improve.   The latter two issues can be corrected easily.

Maybe my original comments on Taute's performance at full back stemmed from the extremely high expectations I had in his case - and I think I was way too harsh.   I am sure he will cement his place at full back of the Stormers  and will go through to Springbok selection in that position.   As a center he is bound to fail - and that is not going to happen again.  


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