The return on a R10m investment by the Western Province Rugby Union could become a massive talking point if the Stormers lose to the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.
Stephen Nell, Sport24
Cape rugby bosses made a massive investment in the off-season with several high profile signings significantly bolstering the Stormers’ depth.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies and injured fullback Jaco Taute will earn over R2m each before they head back to the Lions after the completion of the tournament.
Pat Cilliers (prop), Michael Rhodes (flank) and Ruan Botha (lock) are officially WP players and, according to the newspaper, the Lions trio cost the union in the region of R4m.
These new signings may have increased the squad’s depth but it also raised expectation amongs fans. And with the Stormers starting the season with losses to the Bulls and Sharks, another loss against the Chiefs could see attendance figures drop – which leads to reduced revenue.
Even though the Stormers are arguably the best supported team in the competition, it is nevertheless important for the union to host in excess of 40 000 people for every game in order to justify the massive investment made in the team this year.
Only a win against the Chiefs on Saturday will put them on the right track to achieving those goals.
Play starts at 17:05 on Saturday.
15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenhage, 21 Peter Grant, 22 Gerhard van den Heever