No sweat... Stormers not fussed about the return of Siya Kolisi in Rainbow Cup SA Opener
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CAPE TOWN - The Stormers aren’t losing sleep over Siya Kolisi.
That was the message from assistant coach Rito Hlungwani when asked if they were at all concerned that Kolisi – who spent 11 years in the Cape before leaving to join the Sharks earlier this year – could pass any info and give the Durbanites a tactical advantage heading into the coastal clash.
Tomorrow's Rainbow Cup SA fixture, which kicks off at 2pm at Cape Town Stadium, will be the first time the Springbok captain will face his former team since switching the blue and white for black and white. And while the loose forward has been a big focus point – in terms of the media, at least – in the build-up to the match, Hlungwani said Kolisi hasn't been a major focus for them.
“Siya has been at Province for a long time and during that time the team has evolved. We feel that we are continuously evolving,” said Hlungwani.
“It's part of the game. We have had players leave at certain times, so we are not too concerned about what Siya knows. He is a guy that we all love, he is a good human being, but in saying that, players come and go and we feel we have prepared well to make sure that we are ready for certain players to step in when a big player like Siya leaves.
“You would have seen Marcel Theunissen put his hand up during the Preparation Series. You would have seen Nama Xaba, who is also one of our products from the institute, so it will be good to see how he slots into that position.
“It will be a competitive game, but we are not too stressed about anything that Siya might be giving to the Sharks. It's no different to any other team analysing us and giving some extra information that they may know.”
The Stormers forwards coach instead chose to focus on their own young talent: “Nama came straight from Glenwood to the Western Province Rugby Institute, where I was coaching at the time, and he is a very hard worker.
“I've known him for a long time. He works well around the park and he is one of those guys that is always running in front.
“At the end of the training, you will always see him doing extras. He wants to be the best in that position.”
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok.