De Jongh to lead Stormers after bye

Date published: March 18 2015

Juan de Jongh will replace Duane Vermeulen as the Stormers captain for their clash with the Highlanders next week.

The Springbok number eight will be rested having started the first five games of the season, with de Jongh set to take over the captaincy in his place.

A number of Springbok contracted players will be restricted to a maximum of five consecutive games as the SARU seek to ensure their players are in peak condition for the World Cup later this year.

However Allister Coetzee believes de Jongh will have no problem stepping into the breach, having led Western Province to the Currie Cup title last year.

"He's (Vermeulen) an A (category contract) guy and he's played five games on the trot, so Juan will lead the team (in the first tour match)," said Coetzee. 

"It was the plan from the beginning to rest him for this match (against the Highlanders). We have a bye this week, so Duane will rest for a fortnight."

"Juan proved he was a good captain in the Currie Cup and we have lots of faith in him. In Duane's absence we also have a chance to have a hard look at the depth of leadership in the group. We have people like Schalk Burger, Michael Rhodes and even Damian de Allende who have stepped up as leaders."

The Stormers have so far won four of their five games, with only a loss to the Chiefs last time out spoiling their perfect record. However after beginning their campaign in South Africa, they face a run of five straight games in New Zealand and Australia now which should test their title credentials