Cape Town – The Stormers are savouring the prospect of signing Elton Jantjies to play for the coastal outfit in next year's Super Rugby campaign, head coach Allister Coetzee said on Wednesday.
Coetzee said the 22-year-old Jantjies was a special player, and he believed the youngster would add a new dimension to the team's attack.
“I know what Elton offers and it's our job to make sure that he fits into the rugby scene here in Cape Town,” Coetzee said.
“We have to make sure he settles down as soon as possible.
“Elton will start the conditioning programme in mid-December and then he'll get acquainted with our playing systems. He's an exciting prospect in terms of how we want to play next season.”
Coetzee said there was no need for drastic personnel changes, since this year's table-topping and South African Conference-winning side had shown there was no need to tinker with their playing style.
“We won't change the way we played because we've won the SA Conference for a second time,” Coetzee said.
“We've obviously done things correctly, but we'll change the way we think if we need to. We've tried a few things in the Currie Cup and some of those things we'll take with us into the Super Rugby season.
“The coaching staff will have discussions with the senior players as well, before we finally decide on how we want to play. The senior players' input is vital because we want their buy-in.”
Coetzee confirmed that the issue of captaincy would be decided just before the start of the new season, with either Schalk Burger or Jean de Villiers the front-runners.
“It's not important to make a decision at this stage, but we'll make a call next year,” he said.
“The fact that De Villiers will continue as Bok captain will not have a bearing on our appointment. I'm happy for Jean because he's done a wonderful job captaining the Boks.
“Also, the absence of Schalk at the start of the season won't influence our thinking. We'll make a choice based on what's best for the team.
“Schalk has been part of our pre-season planning because he’s part of the leadership team and will always be there.”
Burger, who suffered a long-term knee injury in February, would start full training in mid-January and might be ready for the start of the season.
“He’ll be running with a physiotherapist and once he’s ready, he’ll join the team,” said Coetzee.
The coach said the season would get off to a tricky start, with derbies against the Bulls and the Sharks to kick off the season.
“It will be a tough start for us with the Bulls and Sharks first up,” said Coetzee.
“But I suppose its tough for all the teams. We'll have the consolation of playing at home for four weeks after that.” – Sapa