De Jongh not yet fit for Stormers

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iol spt feb27 De Jongh Independent Newspapers FILE PHOTO: Stormers and Springbok centre Juan de Jongh has not fully recovered from a hamstring injury and was not included in the team to face the Sharks in Durban. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Cape Town – Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said players should take responsibility for doing what is expected of them if the Cape franchise is to taste success against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The captain was asked to reflect on the composition of the backline which failed to deliver in the opening Vodacom Super Rugby match in Pretoria last week.

“The players, young and old, are selected because they are good enough to be included in the team,” said De Villiers.

“It's simply a question of players taking responsibility for playing the role that has been entrusted to them.”

The Capetonians had held out high hopes of Springbok centre Juan de Jongh reinforcing their three-quarter line in Durban.

However, De Jongh has not fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said it did not make sense to risk De Jongh who is clearly not yet fully fit.

“After a 40-minute session Juan was not feeling comfortable yet,” Coetzee told the media in Bellville on Wednesday.

“We need to make sure that he's 100 percent fit because there's no point in rushing him back (into action).”

The unavailability of the injured Jaco Taute has opened the way for the in-form Joe Pietersen to claim the number 15 jersey.

The Stormers have persisted with the out-of-form Elton Jantjies at flyhalf while Peter Grant landed a spot on the bench.

“We have still to decide who will do the place-kicking against the Sharks but Jantjies was was kicking very well (at training),” Coetzee said.

“Peter is 100 percent after a season in Japan but the big thing is for him to settle in to the way we will be doing things this week.”

In the pack, tightheads Pat Cilliers and Frans Malherbe swop places even though the Sharks have a highly experienced front row.

Coetzee explained that he was counting on the experienced Cilliers to come off the bench later in the match to perform a specific role.

“We've opted to start with Frans this time and he has stood up to some really good props in the past,” Coetzee said.

“We'd rather have Pat coming on when we'll really need him in the second half.”

Stormers team: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Andries Bekker, De Kock Steenkamp, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Pat Cilliers, Don Armand, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Peter Grant, Gerhard van den Heever. – Sapa

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