Grant & Habana back

May 9 • International, National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 2088 Views • Comments Off on Grant & Habana back

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Cape Town – Peter Grant and Bryan Habana were on the aeroplane to New Zealand with the Stormers on Sunday and look set to return to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee announced a touring squad of 25 players after Saturday’s 14-20 defeat to the Crusaders and the omission of Kurt Coleman, who was the substitute flyhalf for the past two games, is a strong indication that Grant has recovered from his knee injury.

“Peter came through his fitness test well and is running without pain. It’s very good news. He and Bryan will be available for selection,” Coetzee said of the two Springboks.

Wing Bryan Habana missed the game against the Crusaders with a rib injury.

There was some concern over injuries to centre Jaque Fourie (groin), prop CJ van der Linde (leg) and loose forward Nick Koster (ribs) immediately after the match.

Coetzee said Fourie’s injury was not serious, while the others would go for scans.

However, the only man not on the plane on Sunday night was Western Province director of coaching Rassie Erasmus. He is staying behind following the birth of his daughter.

Coetzee made it clear that there was no panic in the Stormers camp following their second defeat of the season.

Saturday’s defeat was the first time since 2 May 2009 – when the Stormers lost 14-28 against the Chiefs at Newlands – that the Cape outfit has lost to a New Zealand side.

The only tough question ahead of this coming weekend’s match is whether the Stormers will feel the effects of jet-lag.

The Chiefs may have beaten the Highlanders 20-7 this past weekend, but the quality of both Kiwi teams was poor and the Stormers should be back on the winning track come Saturday if they can adapt to the time difference quickly.

“There is no panic. The loss was disappointing, but we’re looking forward to a good tour,” said Coetzee.

“The one thing about this competition is that you can’t dwell on a defeat. We’ll only be settled in New Zealand by Tuesday and the Chiefs are waiting for us.

“I am proud of the players. In spite of the defeat they still showed what they stand for as Stormers and fought until the last minute.”

The Stormers’ most difficult assignment on their tour is in the second week – against the Blues in Auckland. After that they play the Brumbies in Canberra and the Rebels in Melbourne.

They will be based in Auckland for the next two weeks. It’s a comfortable bus ride from Hamilton.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge in Hamilton. We are still in control of our own destiny. There is still a lot of rugby to be played in the competition,” said Coetzee.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have suffered a blow, with flank Scott Waldrom having dislocated a shoulder against the Highlanders. The Sunday Star Times in New Zealand reports that he is out for the season.

The Stormers touring squad is:

CJ van der Linde, Deon Fourie, Brok Harris, Rynhardt Elstadt, Andries Bekker, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Ricky Januarie, Peter Grant, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Gio Aplon, Conrad Jantjes, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw, De Kock Steenkamp, Nick Koster, Dewaldt Duvenage, Anton van Zyl, Juan de Jongh, Lionel Cronjé, Johann Sadie, Steven Kitshoff.


(Stephen Nell Sport24)

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