The Stormers seem to have got themselves into a bit of a pickle at flyhalf ahead of the 2011 Super Rugby competition. With regular pivot Peter Grant’s return from Japan set to be delayed, Alister Coetzee may be forced to start with an untested option in his side’s first few games.
Grant, who was first choice in last year’s Super 14, was released for the duration of the Japaneses season to gain some experience and also enjoy a change of scenery, rather than paying for Western Province in the Currie Cup. Rather than blood a youngster in that competition, Province opted to start veteran Willem de Waal in the majority of Currie Cup games, with youngsters like Gary van Aswegen and Lionel Cronje only playing bit parts.
De Waal has never really impressed at Super Rugby level, though and when he asked to be released from his contract to join Narbonne in France, there wasn’t a lot of hesitation from the Western Province management. The problem is, though, that Grant has yet to return from Japan. He will miss all of the Stormers’ warm-up games and unless his team fails to qualify for the play-offs in the Japanese league, will miss the first two Super Rugby games proper as well.
Outside of Cronje and van Aswegen, Coetzee also has exciting Boland flyhalf Elgar Watts – who shone in a poor Pumas team last year – in the mix. None of the three has played much Super Rugby, tough, with Cronje’s few appearances for the Stormers last year, coupled with an impressive junior pedigree, likely to swing the vote in his directoin.Tweet