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Coetzee-Stormers will be ready
According to Western Province and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, the win in this year’s Currie Cup will give the Stormers the needed believe and momentum into next year’s Super Rugby Championship.
“I realise that it’s two vastly different competitions, but I nevertheless feel that the confidence we gained from winning the Currie Cup will spill over into next year,” Coetzee told Die Burger. “We have depth in this province. The Lions’ team for the final was very close to the one which will play for them in Super Rugby, while we’ll be boosted by Springboks and a few other players. Things are looking positive for next year.”
Springboks Jean de Villiers, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Damian de Allende and Frans Malherbe will boost the Stormers next season, while Bongi Mbonambi (hooker) and Wilco Louw (prop) have also been bought from the Bulls. WP are also looking to buy an experienced tighthead prop to cover for the departures of Pat Cilliers and Brok Harris.
Carter to start in Chincago
It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like the Dan Carter’s All Black comeback might be not only imminent, but slightly ahead of schedule. It was good to hear the positivity in the voice, and to see the smile on the dial of the master five-eighth who’s had a dreadful run with injuries of late. He hasn’t played for the All Blacks since his 100th test at Twickenham last November, and has managed just sporadic performances for the Crusaders in Super Rugby and Canterbury in the ITM Cup, before problems struck.
But just moments before jumping on the plane to Chicago, Carter declared himself not only pretty close to fighting fit, but ready to play as early as next weekend against the USA.
All Black fever in States
The All Blacks, flat whites and the haka are set to make a splash in the United States this week as New Zealand gets air time with some of the country’s biggest news networks in the build-up to the weekend match against the USA Eagles.
The men in black will take on the US team in front of nearly 62,000 fans at the sold out Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday morning (NZT) – a record-breaking ticket seller for rugby union in the vast country.
Claassen called up to French squad
Antonie Claassen will join up with the French squad for a training camp this week as Damien Chouly recovers from injury. The Racing Métro number eight will fill in for the Clermont skipper who is still suffering with a knee problem and will not be able to do any contact in the camp, although he will be present. Chouly missed Clermont’s win over Sale on Sunday, while Claassen started Racing’s success over Treviso away in Italy.
Wales worried about Davies
Wales centre Jonathan Davies faces an anxious wait after suffering a shoulder injury at the weekend in action for Clermont. Davies was back in the starting lineup for Clermont for their game with Sale, having missed the defeat at Saracens, but he came off after just 15 minutes because of a shoulder problem. Initial reports in France suggested that it might be a dislocated shoulder, although as yet there has been no official confirmation.