Super Rugby

Stormers to 'manage' De Allende

Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)
Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Perhaps the best news of the week for South African rugby - the Stormers and Springboks in particular - is that Damian de Allende is fit again. 

The 24-year-old, one of the brightest lights ahead of the new Springbok era, has been sidelined all Super Rugby season with the ankle injury he picked up on club duty in Japan last year with the Kintetsu Liners. 

In his absence, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has entrusted Juan de Jongh with the No 12 jersey while Johnny Kotze has enjoyed an extended run at outside centre. 

Now, with the Stormers set to take on the lowly Sunwolves at Newlands on Friday, De Allende is back. 

But that doesn't mean that he will waltz straight back into the starting line-up. 

According to Fleck, how De Allende is managed right now is crucial. 

"He’s going really well. While we were in Argentina he was training with the Currie Cup side and working extremely hard to get back to full fitness," Fleck said.

"Again, we will look to manage him in terms of getting him back to his peek and we have a responsibility to him.

"I’m excited to see him go. It’s been a long road back for him … he’s looking sharp.

"He’s a quality player for us and a star player for South Africa … but we’ve got a responsibility to manage him correctly and not put him under any unnecessary pressure.

Fleck was not giving anything away in terms of how, or even if, he was planning to use De Allende on Friday.

"When he’s good to go I think the rest of us will be quite happy about that," said Fleck.

"He’s in the squad now so he’s fit to play … we’ll see how he goes."

Friday night's match kicks off at 19:00.

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