Stormers, WP start pre-season training
A group of contracted Western Province Rugby players have begun with pre-season training at the High Performance Centre in Bellville, as the Stormers and WP kick-off their preparations for the 2014 season.
Utility back Cheslin Kolbe, who is currently on SA Sevens duty, and flanker Schalk Burger, who will play for the Barbarians in London this weekend, will join the WP Rugby training squad at a later stage.
Springbok tourists Jean de Villiers, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen and Gio Aplon will join the squad in January 2014 only. However, hooker Scarra Ntubeni, flanker Siya Kolisi and scrum-half Louis Schreuder – all of whom also toured Europe with the Boks this month – will join squad training on Monday, December 2.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee explained: “All the players currently training at the HPC are contracted to WP Rugby. Next year the squad will be divided up into a Stormers group and a Western Province (Vodacom Cup) group and there will be a camp in Hermanus in mid-January for the streamlined Super Rugby training squad.
“We look forward to welcoming talented schoolboys like JD Schickerling, Jacques Vermeulen, Rickus Bothma, Justin Phillips, Jarryd Sage, Daniel du Plessis (centre), Grant Hermanus (who will still be at school next year) and EW Viljoen into the fold over the next two weeks and also someone like Ryno Eksteen from the 2013 WP Rugby Institute intake, as part of our bigger contracted core of players here at Western Province.
“There’s also a group of WP U21 players who are moving into the senior ranks in 2014 in our enlarged training group. This way we are able to look at all the players available to us next year.”
The WP Rugby training squad will have a break over the Festive Season. The players’ last day of training will be on Friday, December 20, before they reconvene ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season on Tuesday, January 7 of next year.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that next year’s Boland v Stormers friendly – an annual clash – will take place at Wellington’s Boland Stadium on Saturday, February 15 (2014).
Ticket prices, curtain-raisers and kick-off times will be confirmed in due course by the Boland Rugby Union, but tickets will go on sale – also via Boland Rugby – from January 13.
The 2014 WP Rugby contracted squad:
Justin Ackerman, Justin Benn, Ruan Botha, Eital Bredenkamp, Nizaam Carr, Demetri Catrakilis, Pat Cilliers, Kurt Coleman, Stephan Coetzee, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Carel du Preez, Ryno Eksteen, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Tazz Fuzani, Gerbrandt Grobler, Nic Groom, Brok Harris, Pat Howard, Josh Katzen, Oli Kebble, Freddie Kirsten, Rohan Kitshoff, Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Siya Kolisi, Johnny Kotze, JP Lewis, Tiaan Liebenberg, Kyle Lombard, Godlen Masimla, Jean Nel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, Sti Sithole, Rayn Smid, De Kock Steenkamp, Entienne Swanepoel, Jaco Taute, Gary van Aswegen, Chevandre van Schoor, Michael van der Spuy, Jurie van Vuuren, Kobus van Wyk, Alistair Vermaak, Mike Willemse, Devon Williams
WP Rugby Institute players invited to squad training:
Rickus Bothma, Daniel du Plessis, Grant Hermanus, Justin Phillips, Jarryd Sage, JD Schickerling, Jacques Vermeulen, EW Viljoen
Other players (to join up at the HPC at a later stage):
Gio Aplon, Schalk Burger, Manuel Carizza, Jean de Villiers, Eben Etzebeth, Cheslin Kolbe, Frans Malherbe, Duane Vermeulen
The Stormers’ 2014 pre-season fixtures:
Saturday, February 1:
Bulls v Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane) – 17:00 Kick-off
Friday, February 7:
Southern Kings v Stormers, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth) – 19:00 (Kick-off)
Saturday, February 15:
Boland v Stormers, Boland Stadium (Wellington) – kick-off TBC