Kolisi will lead Stormers in Soweto
TEAM NEWS: Stormers coach John Dobson is keeping his cards close to his chest as to the make-up of his teams for their final two pre-season outings.
He said he will take a ‘mix-and-match’ approach to the encounters with the Southern Kings (in Knysna on Friday, January 17) and the Sharks (at the Super Sunday doubleheader in Soweto on January 19).
However, there is no doubt who will lead the team in the main fixture – at Soccer City in Soweto.
World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi will skipper the side on Sunday.
He said some of the returning World Cup Springboks, who had been given extra time off, will not be risked in a high-tempo affair at altitude.
“We have to be responsible, because we gave those Springboks quite a bit of time off,” Dobson told a media briefing on Monday.
Kolisi is one of the few players who returned early to get his conditioning right and that is why he will feature in Soweto.
“He [Kolisi] is ready for it,” the coach said.
“Players like [prop] Frans Malherbe – it may be a risk to play them at altitude at 1pm [13.00], which will be a much faster game than the Friday outing.
“The stronger, and more high-profile team, will play on Sunday.
“However, there will be some Springboks that will feature against the Kings on Friday.
“You can’t expect some of those guys to accelerate very fast, just 13 days into the season, at 30 degree [centigrade] at the Calabash [Soccer City] without risking a form of injury.
“It would be detrimental to South African rugby and the players.
“It will be a mix-and-match, but Siya [Kolisi] will definitely lead the team on Sunday.”