Stormers rugby coach Rassie Erasmus has a new problem; one that he describes as a nice one.
With Schalk Burger available again after serving his two-match suspension for unsportsmanlike behaviour, Erasmus has some tough choices to make before naming his loose-forwards for the Super 14 match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.
Stephen Nell of Die Burger writes that after the team’s 34-16 victory over the Reds in Brisbane, he has to consider five fine players for the three positions. They are Burger, Luke Watson, Francois Louw, Robbie Diack and Pieter Myburgh.
As a senior member of the national team, Burger will probably be in the starting lineup. And as a World Cup star, he is likely to be given the jersey in which he feels most comfortable – No 6.
Luke Watson, after operating at No 8 against the Bulls and the Sharks, wore No 6 against the Reds and produced the best performance of all the Stormers. Diack was the eighthman and Louw the other flank.
“Robbie is brilliant and we all know how good Luke is,” Erasmus said on Sunday. “Francois is an unsung hero and Pieter will go far. We will need all of them during the next ten or eleven weeks.
“We’ve always planned to start rotating players at some stage. It’s not about any individual; we’re busy with a process.”
The coach, himself an international loose forward in his playing days, has several options. He can return to his original combination or he can consider Burger at No 8 or as blind-side flank.
Erasmus rates the Chiefs as tough opponents after their 22-20 victory over the Cheetahs at the weekend, when they wiped out a 0-17 deficit.
If the Stormers are mentally tuned, which he believes they will be, Erasmus expects “a very even battle”.
The Stormers have had their share of bad luck in the first three weeks of the competition and could expect better fortunes now.
* They are without assistant coach Gary Gold this week. Gold has had to return home for personal reasons and will rejoin the team again next week before the match against the Blues.Tweet