Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus says he won’t be experimenting too much in the friendly fixture against Saracens at Newlands next Sunday.
Rugby 365 – Ebrahim Moerat
While many teams have been happy to give fringe players a run in the Super 14 pre-season friendlies, Erasmus stressed the importance of giving front-line players a decent hit-out.
The majority of last year’s squad thus looks set to face Eddie Jones’ side with Stormers management having met on Friday to discuss the make-up for the squad to play at Newlands.
Erasmus also indicated the possibility of including more than seven players on the bench to give as much players a run during the game.
“We will probably play most of last year’s team against Saracens,” Erasmus told rugby365 at the High Performance Centre.
“We could also have a bigger squad to play against Saracens to get more players involved.”
The coach also explained the rationale of not including many fringe players in his squad for the friendly.
“We’ve given the fringe players a lot of contact opportunities in training sessions so we’ve been able to see what they have to offer.
“At this stage we’ve sent some of them to the Vodacom Cup team but a few have impressed enough to stay on with the Stormers.”
The coach highlighted the quality of the Saracens outfit which includes ex-Stormers stalwart Cobus Visagie, South Africans Wikus Van Heerden, Brad Barritt and talents like Chris Jack, Glen Jackson and Andy Farrell.
He believes the match is ideal preparation for the intensity of the upcoming Super 14 season.
“Saracens is a class team with some awesome international talent and a fantastic coach,”said the Stormers coach.
“Playing a side well into their season and at the top of their game provides us with valuable match preparation for the rigours of this year’s Super 14.”
Flyhalf Willem de Waal is the only player who will miss the warm-up against Saracens and Boland, and is ‘touch and go’ for the Super 14 opener against the Sharks.
The Stormers flyhalf is struggling with a hand injury and has been sidelined during the past week’s sessions.
However, Springbok prop Brian Mujati has made significant progress with his shoulder injury and may face Saracens on January 25.Tweet