Stormers’ coach confident young Koster ‘can do the job’

2009-02-11 00:00

THE selection of exciting loose forward prospect Nick Koster on the wing and the inclusion of robust Duane Vermeulen ahead of Luke Watson at number eight are features of the Stormers’ squad named yesterday for the Super 14 game against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday evening.

Rassie Erasmus, with an abundance of loose forward talent, but desperate to use the versatile Koster, is confident the young player can adapt to the new position. He takes over from injured Fijian wing Sireli Naqelevuki, who may still be on the bench if Conrad Jantjes, bracketed with Percy Montgomery at fullback, is withdrawn before the kick-off.

Vermeulen will join Schalk Burger and Francois Louw in the backrow.

“We’ve selected this loose trio for tactical reasons,” Erasmus told reporters, adding that the backrow would rotate next weekend.

“It’s a long competition and we know that certain players are going to have to be rested. As far as lineouts, kickoffs and scrumming ability are concerned, I’m happy we have the right combination for this game. Perhaps if the game opens up in the second half it will suit our players on the bench.”

Erasmus said they would not have selected Koster if they were not convinced he could do the job.

“He’s a much better kicker than most of the wings in South Africa. I’m sure he won’t get everything right in his first game, but we as coaches have to take responsibility for that.”

Two former Sharks, lock AJ Venter and fullback Montgomery are included in the Stormers squad of 22.

Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes/Percy Montgomery, Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean de Villiers (captain), Nick Koster, Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Adriaan Fondse, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.

Reserves: Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw, AJ Venter, Luke Watson, Bolla Conradie, Joe Pietersen and Percy Montgomery/Sireli Naqelevuki.

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