Stormers coach Robbie Fleck always knew that he couldn’t keep his Springbok stars wrapped up in cotton wool and will gamble with their fitness ahead of the Super Rugby season by unleashing them against Boland on Friday (6 pm).
Bok skipper Siya Kolisi, SA Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit, centre Damian de Allende will join an all-Bok front row of Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kitshoff for a first run out in the Stormers’ final pre-season game.
And Fleckie says it’s crucial his first-teamers get some game time ahead of their trip to Loftus for next Saturday’s Super Rugby opener against the Bulls.
He says: “They have five weeks of conditioning. It was always the plan to bring them in for this game. It’s important that they get a hit-out before next weekend
“So hopefully all things going well, they’ll get 40-50 minutes under belt before the Bulls.
“Injuries happen and they can happen in training too.
“You have to give them a chance to make a tackle and get up off the ground. We have to touch wood and hope nothing happens.”
Fleckie is also keen to see how flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis does on his return from a long-term hip injury when he comes off the bench, saying: “I wasn’t sure if he was going to make this week. But now the medics have given him the go-ahead.
“He won’t get too much of a run, maybe 20-25 minutes.
“He finds space more often than not and that’s something that we are going to need.”