URC champions hit the pre-season road
SPOTLIGHT: The United Rugby Championship title holders, the Stormers, named a 39-man training squad for a pre-season road trip.
The squad will leave Cape Town on Thursday for a pre-season camp which includes friendly matches against South Western Districts and the Sharks.
The squad will be based in Wilderness for 10 days and play the South Western Districts Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday, before taking on the Sharks at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth the following Friday.
While pre-season preparations have been ongoing for some time already, this trip will give the wider training squad a chance to get some game time ahead of what will be a demanding season of United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup action.
Stormers coach John Dobson said that the matches against the Eagles and Sharks will be invaluable with the first United Rugby Championship game of the season just three weeks away.
“Pre-season friendlies are always vital to get a sense of where the players are at and put them under some match pressure,” Dobson said.
“We are looking forward to seeing how the players react and giving everyone a chance to showcase their skills while also building some cohesion as a squad ahead of what will be a very tough season.
“Our depth will be tested this season, so we need to give some match exposure to as many players as possible while also ensuring that we are all aligned on how we want to go about things,” he said.
Stormers training squad: Clayton Blommetjies, Kwenzo Blose, Hacjivah Dayimani, Juan de Jongh, Paul de Villiers, Paul de Wet, Ben Jason Dixon, Dan du Plessis, Willie Engelbrecht, Connor Evans, Neethling Fouche, Brok Harris, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Chris Hollis, Imad Khan, JJ Kotze, Tristan Leyds, Manie Libbok, Leon Lyons, Godlen Masimla, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Sacha Mngomezulu, Ruhan Nel, Marvin Orie, Junior Pokomela, Gary Porter, Sazi Sandi, Seabelo Senatla, Cornel Smit, Adre Smith, Chad Solomon, Marcel Theunissen, Stefan Ungerer, Ernst van Rhyn, Andre-Hugo Venter, Ali Vermaak, Kade Wolhuter, Nama Xaba, Mnombo Zwelendaba.