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Schalk Burger © Gallo Images

Burger likely to captain Stormers

Springbok flank Schalk Burger looks likely to captain the Stormers in Super Rugby this year, despite Jean de Villiers carrying the mantle as Springbok skipper.

Die Burger's website reports that Burger, who missed the whole of last season due to a knee injury sustained in his side's first Super Rugby outing, is the favourite to again start the season as captain.

Burger has since recovered from his injury and is reportedly raring to go for the new season. De Villiers took over the captaincy after Burger's injury against the Hurricanes and also went on to lead the Springboks, with coach Heyneke Meyer recently stating he would like the 31-year-old centre to continue leading the national side in 2013.

This will not be the first time a player has successfully captained his provincial team while the national captain plays under him. During the 1996/97 seasons, No 8 Zinzan Brooke led the Blues to Super Rugby success, while the All Black captain at the time, Sean Fitzpatrick, played under him. The All Blacks were also very successful in that period, winning a series in South Africa in 1996, as well as back-to-back Tri-Nations titles.

Meanwhile, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee will on Friday give more clarity regarding the availability of wing Bryan Habana (knee), utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt (breastbone), scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage (leg), centre Marcel Brache and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg (both neck injuries) for the upcoming season.

The Stormers start their Super Rugby campaign away to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, February 22.

They are likely to play two warm-up games against the Cheetahs and Boland, with the dates yet to be confirmed.


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