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Stormers welcome back de Villiers

14th April 2014 16:07

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Fighting fit: Jean de Villiers

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers is back in contention for selection for the Stormers this week ahead of facing the Lions, but their injury problems in the second row remain severe.

De Villiers has fully recovered from a knee injury and is available, along with Pat Cilliers and Jurie van Vuuren.

Schalk Burger and Cheslin Kolbe are due for another fitness test on Tuesday but are well on their way to recovery. Kobus van Wyk however is out of this weekend's match.

Hookers Scarra Ntubeni and Tiaan Liebenberg are both expected back for the game against the Cheetahs in two weeks.

The Stormers crisis in the second row continues however. Eben Etzebeth and Manuel Carizza are not expected back until mid-May, while De Kock Steenkamp and Rynhardt Elstadt are both out for the season.

"We've (all) had a good week off, ahead of our next seven-week cycle," said Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee.

"We trained well this morning, you can see the guys have benefitted from the week. Of course, our focus is on this weekend and we're determined to get back to winning ways.

"We've got nine matches left this season... of which seven are SA derbies, so it's important to start this next phase of our campaign with a win.

"As you know, winning breeds confidence and you can see that with a team like the Western Force."

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