Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has poured cold water on reports that England Sevens ace has signed a contract with the Super Rugby side.
Turner, who grew up in Cape Town, is currently training with the Stormers squad, leading to reports in the local media that he had signed a Super Rugby contract.
“Mat is back in Cape Town, now that his Sevens commitments are a thing of the past,” said Coetzee.
“He asked if he could join us at training and we said yes – we certainly won’t chase him away. There is no commitment from our side and he has not been offered a contract, he just wants to keep fit and train at this stage.
“There are a lot of other players in the system we would need to give opportunities to first and Mat understands that. We will see how it goes and if he should warrant selection he would need to move via the proper structures – through the Vodacom Cup or the club system (for instance).”
Meanwhile, Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will start in his first match of 2015 in Friday’s friendly clash against the Cheetahs at Newlands, his first appearance in a Stormers jersey since 2013,
Talented youngster Huw Jones gets a run at inside centre – his first start for the Stormers – after Damian de Allende was ruled out with a slight quadriceps tear.
“It’s a slight tear, so we could’ve pushed Damian if, say, we were playing in a final,” said Coetzee on the www.iamastormer.com website.
“It’s not serious, but we didn’t want to risk him at this stage of our pre-season preparations.”
Montpellier-bound Demetri Catrakilis, after missing last weekend’s trip to George with a stomach ailment, will start at fly-half, whilst Currie Cup-winning lock Jean Kleyn has been named amongst the replacements after recovering from a knee (meniscus) injury which delayed his start to his team’s pre-season programme.
Inside centre/fullback Jaco Taute went for a basic scope (on his knee) on Monday and will be out of action for four to six weeks.
The injury is not considered to be of a serious nature (“basic wear and tear,” according to Coetzee), but his lay-off has given an opportunity to last year’s WP Under-21 star, Johnny Kotze, who has been named on the bench to face the Cheetahs.
“This is our best possible team for this weekend,” said Coetzee, looking ahead to his team’s first home game of 2015.
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Jean Kleyn, 21 Neil Rautenbach, 22 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 23 Louis Schreuder, 24 Kurt Coleman, 25 Johnny Kotze, 26 Robert du Preez, 27 EW Viljoen.