Welsh import will play a 'big role' against Canes
SUPER RUGBY INTERVIEW: Veteran Welsh international Jamie Roberts will make his Stormers debut at Newlands on Saturday.
Roberts, 33, has only had a handful of training sessions with the Cape Town-based franchise, but looks set for a starting role against the Hurricanes.
The Brobdingnagian midfielder arrived in Cape Town last Wednesday and trained with his new teammates, the Stormers, for the first time a day later.
The 94-times capped international cut his two-year contract with Bath short this month, to make the immediate move to South Africa.
And Stormers coach hinted that he may well be in the run-on XV against the New Zealand visitors.
Stormers coach John Dobson, who said his team was in a ‘great space’ ahead of the season opener, said they will use all the international experience at their disposal.
“We are going to play our strongest team,” Dobson told a media briefing at the team’s training base in Bellville.
“All our Springboks are available and we have a British and Irish Lion [in the mix].”
He was somewhat evasive when asked whether Roberts will start, but had no doubt he will play in the opening match.
“We are going full strength and we will use all the international experience we have got,” he said – suggesting that Roberts may well start.,
“Jamie will play a big role on Saturday.”
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He said they have three things that may work in their favour this season.
“It is our last season at Newlands, which means a surprisingly large amount to the players.
“The draw, with [the Stormers] playing so many home game at the start [four of their first five matches and seven of the first 10 games] and, of course, the influence of the Springboks.”
“We have to start well. There is no holding back Saturday.”
Players who will miss the opening match through injury include locks John Schickerling and Kobus Wiese, as well as Juarno Augustus.
He said they should all be available for the big north-south derby – a Round Two home game against the Bulls.
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