Planet Rugby

JDV to sit out Cheetahs clash

24th June 2013 16:23

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Jean de Villiers grimace

Needs a break: Jean de Villiers

Stormers and Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been ruled out of Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs at Newlands.

The veteran centre cut a bruised and battered figure after last weekend's Test against Samoa as a gruelling season starts to take its toll.

De Villiers was a doubt for last week's clash due to a shoulder injury but - as he has done a number of time this season - came through a late fitness test to lead the Boks at Loftus.

It is the same injury that is officially keeping him out of action this weekend and with the Stormers out of the running in the South African conference it would have made little sense to force him to play.

"Jean will be rested this weekend, and that decision is in the interest of the country," said Coetzee.

"Medically he's not ready to play just yet and it's too early to say when he'll be in the mix again."

Two other returning Springboks, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi, did not train as the weather turned nasty in Cape Town on Monday but both are available for selection.

Springbok wing Bryan Habana also reported for training at the Cape side's Bellville training ground on Monday, despite being given the day off.

With three Super Rugby matches remaining for the Stormers, starting with a tricky assignment Newlands on Saturday, Habana's presence at training would serve as a welcome boost ahead of their remaining fixtures.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said Habana's decision to attend training showed the importance of the remaining fixtures.

"Boks like Habana were given off from training but by training today shows how important the last three games are for the Stormers," said Coetzee.

"It says a lot for the type of player he is and the younger ones can learn from him.

"We give players off as a way of managing them and also keeping an eye on their futures.

"The (Super Rugby) tournament is definitely not over for us and we're looking to preserve our proud record at Newlands. We've only lost once at Newlands this year, and that was once too many."

He added: "I will go with medical advice about which Springboks should play but there are national squad players like Gio (Aplon) and Juan (De Jongh) who haven't had game time and they will play.

"Gio and Juan are keen to join the action again and they are looking forward to testing themselves by playing against a quality side like the Cheetahs."

Meanwhile, Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt are still on the injury list and they are expected to start training again next week.

In the absence of De Villiers, Coetzee said he would have to appoint a new captain for Saturday's match.

"There are quite a few (players) who are in the running because we have a big leadership group in the squad," he said.

"Players like Deon (Fourie), Tiaan (Liebenberg) and Bryan (Habana) are some of the candidates that come to mind."

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