Johannesburg – Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee named a 38-man squad on Friday for next week's pre-season camp in the Western Cape.
The Stormers head to Hermanus for the fourth year in a row as they prepare for the 2014 Super Rugby season which gets underway in just over a month.
Springboks Tiaan Liebenberg, Frans Malherbe, Pat Cilliers, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Jean de Villiers, Jaco Taute, Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon were all named as part of the 38-man group, which also included new signing Manuel Carizza (lock) and utility back Scott van Breda, who is on loan from the Kings.
Youngsters Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward), Jean Kleyn (lock) and Ryno Eksteen (flyhalf) – all of whom are still under-21 – have also been included, along with members of last year's under-21group who have moved into the senior ranks this year – Oli Kebble, Godlen Masimla, Pat Howard and Kobus van Wyk.
“Scott (van Breda) is on loan with us for the trip to Hermanus and if he continues to impress at training there could be an opportunity for him come the start of the Super Rugby season – the same goes for players like Oli, Godlen, Pat and Kobus,” Coetzee said on www.iamastormer.com.
“In terms of Notshe, Jean and Ryno, we always take promising young players with us on camp – it's great for us, as coaches, to work with them and, at the same time, gives them exposure to the Stormers culture and what it takes to one day become a core member of our group.”
Coetzee and his management staff returned to work on Monday, with the players returning on Tuesday.
“We tested all the players on Tuesday and I was very happy with the condition of the players during their 'maintenance phase of conditioning' (holiday).
“All the players put in a good effort over December and it was pleasing to see them get stuck in during our three sessions this past week.
“The emphasis this week has been 50-50 in terms of conditioning and technical work, but next week in camp our focus will change in favour of 70% technical/rugby work and 30% conditioning.
“We have about 14 sessions from now until our first pre-season match against the Bulls (on February 1). We know where we want to be come and our process is already beginning to take shape.”
The Stormers will play their first pre-season match against the Bulls in Polokwane on Saturday February 1, followed by clashes against the Kings (February 7) and Boland (February 15) on successive weekends thereafter.
Their 2014 Super Rugby season kicks-off against the Lions in Johannesburg on February 22.
Stormers squad: Gio Aplon, Ruan Botha, Schalk Burger, Manuel Carizza, Nizaam Carr, Demetri Catrakilis, Pat Cilliers, Kurt Coleman, Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, Ryno Eksteen, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Tazz Fuzani, Nic Groom, Brok Harris, Pat Howard, Cheslin Kolbe, Oli Kebble, Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Siya Kolisi, Tiaan Liebenberg, Frans Malherbe, Godlen Masimla, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, De Kock Steenkamp, Jaco Taute, Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda, Michael van der Spuy, Kobus van Wyk, Alistair Vermaak, Duane Vermeulen. – Sapa