Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus could have a few surprises up his sleeve for the warm-up game against Saracens at Newlands on 25 January.
Stephen Nell writes for Die Burger that Nick Koster, who made his Western Province debut at No 8 last year, is training among the backline players. Erasmus could experiment with him on the wing.
Tongan sevens player Alipate Fatafehi also linked up with the Stormers for a trial this week. He stands 1.93m tall and weighs 112kg.
“He’s training with us this week. He’s a big guy that can play centre, wing and fullback,” said Erasmus.
He added that Fatafehi “might” stay on with the Stormers. At this stage he is set to leave Cape Town on Sunday.
That could depend on the impression he leaves on the Stormers coaching staff this week. If he stays on, he could be used against Saracens.
Erasmus is expected to pick a strong side for the game against the English club side. It’s possible that the number of substitutes allowed may not be limited to seven.
“Nick is 19, weighs 106kg and runs the 100m in 11 seconds. He is a great player in the making,” said Erasmus.
“There are currently plenty of loose forwards around that are big, strong and physical. I want to try a few things with Nick. He has the skills of a backline player.
“Perhaps he’s a little inexperienced, but physically he is the equal of any backline player in South Africa.”
If the experiment works, Erasmus may even use Koster there in the Super14, with Gcobani Bobo and Sireli Naqelevuki possibly competing for the No 13 jersey.
Naqelevuki did well for WP when he played centre in Bobo’s absence during last year’s Currie Cup.
A handful of Stormers are still struggling with injury niggles.
Flyhalf Willem de Waal (hand) and fullback Conrad Jantjes (groin) are likely to miss the game against Saracens.
Centre Jean de Villiers (groin) and flank Schalk Burger (ankle) both have niggles, but should be ready.
There was also good news regarding tighthead prop Brian Mujati, who has recovered earlier than expected from a shoulder injury and should be ready to face Saracens.
Loosehead prop JD Moller, who dislocated his shoulder in last year’s game between the Stormers and Hurricanes, is fully fit again.Tweet