Coronavirus News Africa

Stormers to trial new midfield combination if Super Rugby resumes

2020-04-03 08:43

Should Super Rugby resume, the Stormers are likely to field a new centre combination.

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Coach John Dobson said earlier this week he would like to test the midfield combination of Rikus Pretorius and Dan du Plessis.

Before the tournament was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Stormers started all six their games with Welshman Jamie Roberts and Ruhan Nel in the midfield.

“Rikus has only played in two matches this year for 20 minutes each and it’s unfair to judge him when we’ve had to overcome a deficit,” Dobson told Netwerk24.

The coach added that he was excited about the potential of Du Plessis, who is the son of former Western Province and Springbok utility back Michael du Plessis.

“We all know Dan. If he can stay fit, then he’ll become a Springbok. I’ve got no doubt that he’s one of South Africa’s best centres. We have to give him a chance.”

The 25-year-old Du Plessis’ career has been plagued by injuries and Dobson admitted that he was fearing more injury woes for the player.

“His injuries are so bad that I get nervous simply watching him play,” Dobson stressed, before adding: “Dan is physical, skilful and his ball distribution is very good. He is a special player.”

Du Plessis would likely be trialled at outside centre, with former Junior Springboks star Pretorius on his inside.

The 21-year-old Pretorius, who was schooled at Grey College in Bloemfontein, is a physically imposing player, standing 1.92m and weighing over 100kgs.

Roberts, meanwhile, has returned to Wales amidst the worldwide crisis but he could return to the Stormers if the tournament resumes.

The Stormers were seventh on the overall standings when Super Rugby was halted, having won four out of six games.

– Compiled by Herman Mostert

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