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Jean looks set for Cheetahs clash

The Stormers look almost certain to be bolstered after their bye by the return of skipper Jean de Villiers.

The Springbok centre is part of the national group that is involved in a planning session under new Bok coach Heyneke Meyer in Cape Town. Although there was no contact in the indoor session that was open to the media at the SA Sports Science Institute at Newlands, De Villiers looked very comfortable as he took a lead role with the mostly Stormers players who were part of the group.

Afterwards he said he was confident he would be ready to play the next Super Rugby fixture against the Cheetahs at Newlands on 12 May.

“I started testing it early this week and it has all gone well so far. All I have to do now is to see how it reacts to a bit of contact but I am confident that I will be able to play against the Cheetahs,” said De Villiers.

De Villiers captained the Stormers in the absence of injured regular captain Schalk Burger through most of the first half of the competition, but had to return home early from tour after injuring his wrist in the top of the log clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch. Since then Duane Vermeulen and Andries Bekker have taken turns to captain the Stormers as the Cape team buckles under what is being talked about as a captain’s curse.

There is no clarity as yet on the condition of Burger, although there has been speculation he may be ready to return for part of the Cheetahs match.

“I know where we stand now (with regards to the injuries to Schalk and Duane Vermeulen) but I am going to leave that to the franchise medical staff to announce,” said Meyer during a media briefing on Thursday.

Burger was in attendance at the camp but the forwards were working out elsewhere at the time of the open session so, unlike De Villiers, the flanker did not train in the glare of media scrutiny. Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is to hold a media briefing at the Western Province High Performance Centre on Friday afternoon.


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