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VIDEO: Big names come to Stormers' rescue

SPOTLIGHT: After a winless four-match United Rugby Championship tour, the Stormers got a number of important players back this week and it is not just their World Cup winners.

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Along with a few Boks who are back in training, several players have also returned from injury which has given head coach John Dobson a whole lot of options ahead of a match against Zebre and two big Champions Cup matches against Leicester Tigers and reigning champions La Rochelle.

“We have come back from a tough trip but there’s energy from guys like Manie [Libbok], Damian [Willemse, Deon {Fourie] and Frans [Malherbe].

“And then there are the guys that we had with us at the beginning of the season. Hacjivah [Dayimani], BJ [Ben-Jason Dixon] and Evan [Roos] are back and fit, so it feels very different to what it felt last week.”

The other players who are also available after injury lay-offs are Leolin Zas, Sazi Sandi and Suleiman Hartzenberg.

“It’s about 10 guys available this week that weren’t available last week which is quite useful,” Dobson added.

The story continues below…

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Deon the warrior

Dobson is also looking forward to having Deon Fourie’s leadership qualities on the field. The 37-year-old has decided to return to training this week, despite his father passing away recently.

“That’s probably the piece that we have struggled with. Neethling [Fouche] has done a good job as a leader, but it’s about the collective,” Dobson explained.

“Having a real warrior – whether it’s dealing with a referee or just leading by example – Deon is huge from a leadership point of view.

“It must have been the craziest six weeks he could have had. He won a World Cup, his father passed away and he has just come back from the funeral and he wants to play rugby.

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“We would have given him more time, but he wants to play.

“Just seeing him out there on the field and knowing what he has done and who he is gives us a massive sense of confidence.”

One other area the Stormers have struggled with has been the midfield and they have sorely missed Dan du Plessis.

The centre has not made an appearance this season due to a serious quad injury, but Dobson expects him back soon.

“Dan will be back for the Sharks match on the 30th [of December].

“He has left a massive hole in the team. That time when we were light on game drivers and leadership, he got injured.

“We have really struggled around that No.10 and No.12 axis especially in those [European] conditions. which requires a different style.

“We missed him, but he is back for the Sharks game.”

Another player that has been absent this season has been loose forward Junior Pokomela.

“Junior was injured for a while and then he came back. As he came back, we went on tour, but he is someone who will definitely come into the frame over the next couple of weeks,” Dobson added.

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