Taute boost for Stormers

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The Springbok has been out with a long-term knee injury, but he started training at the High Performance Centre, in Bellville.

Stormers’ coach Allister Coetzee said Taute is poised for game time with Western Province in the Vodacom Cup competition.

“Jaco has started training again. He’ll do team training for two weeks and then it’s likely to he’ll play in the Vodacom Cup,” said Coetzee.

“He will probably play for about 40 minutes or so.”

Taute’s return will offer the Stormers a chance to rest some of the regular playing three-quarters like Cheslin Kolbe and Damian de Allende over the next few weeks when the Stormers have a four-match sequence of home games.

Several players sat out at training on Monday, but Coetzee said there were no fresh injury concerns but that players were resting up after Saturday’s bruiser against the Bulls.

“Duane Vermeulen took a knock to his right shoulder. It was a bit of a stinger. Juan de Jong is being managed and we’re trying to make sure that his ankle does not become chronic. Nizaam Carr took a knock to the knee, but he too is fit and ready to play on Saturday,” said Coetzee. “The players who are not running out there today are just using it as a recovery day like Damian de Allende for example. There are no fresh injury concerns.”

Flank/lock Michael Rhodes is another on the road to recovery as his hamstring injury has responded well to treatment. He could be back in mid-May.

Wing Kobus van Wyk will be in a knee brace for one more week before his rehabilitation commences. He is still out of action for another five weeks and could be ready to play when the season-ending play-offs take place.

Wing Dillyn Leyds who missed out on the Bulls match because of a shoulder injury will be fit to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

With only six matches remaining, Coetzee said a lot of thought had been given to rest the Stormers’ Springboks as requested by SA Rugby.

“We (the Stormers) have a plan for that (resting) because it’s not something you want to look at the back end of the season. (Prop) Steven Kitshoff needs a breather – he has been playing unbelievably well, and he cannot start every game. I trust our squad system and have faith in Oliver (Kebble) and Ali (Vermaak),” said Coetzee.

This week the Stormers will primarily be addressing two areas of their game that caused concern against the Bulls.

“We need to look at line-outs because many of the teams that we’ll be up against are good line-out teams,” said Coetzee. “We also need to fix our turnovers, something that we’re not happy with. Last year the Cheetahs punished us.

“We need to make sure we respect the ball and hold on to it.” – ANA

Original source: Taute boost for Stormers

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