The Stormers ended the first block of their pre-season preparations at the High Performance Centre in Bellville on Thursday whereafter the players will enjoy a well-deserved break over the festive season.
The squad, which includes a number of Western Province Colts, have been undergoing conditioning training at the Bellville base for the past four weeks and Erasmus says the players are all in good shape and ready to hit the ground running in 2009.
“I’m happy with the way the pre-season training has been going,” Erasmus told rugby 365.com before the squad completed their 2008 build-up.
“We’ve had a few niggles over the past few weeks but I am confident that we will have a full strength squad available for the start of the Super 14.
“At this stage only Brian Mujati, Adriaan Fondse and Peter Grant are injured but they are expected to be fit and ready in the new year.”
Erasmus’ first season in charge of the Cape franchise this year, resulted in the Stormers over-delivering on their fans’ expectations by narrowly missing out on a semi-final berth.
The Stormers ultimately finished the 2008 season in fifth position, level with the Hurricanes on 41 points, after a string of home victories brought them into contention for the semi’s.
While Erasmus is justifiably happy with the team’s showing in 2008, he has highlighted the need for his chargers to maintain this good form in next year’s southern hemisphere spectacle.
Erasmus believes the Stormers displayed a cohesive team effort in 2008 and he would like to see the team enhance this ability in next year’s Super 14.
“It’s going to be a tough season. But we are setting high standards for ourselves.” Erasmus said.
“We narrowly missed out on the semi’s this year so we are aiming for an improvement in the Super 14 in 2009.
“Our defence was pretty good this year. And the fact that we were in contention for a semi-final means that our attacking game was also good. So, the important thing for us is to build on that.”Tweet