Stormers props to front up for Boks

Date published: June 2 2015

The impact of the Stormers front row this season has not gone unnoticed by Sprinbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

Young loosehead Steven Kitshoff, alongside tightheads Frans Malherbe and Vincent Koch, have been the foundation for the Cape outfit's bruising and gritty march up the Super Rugby ladder in 2015.

The Stormers have fewer bonus points than any other side in the competition but only four teams have scored more points overall, largely thanks to the number of scrum and breakdown penalties they earn.

Steven Kitshoff seems a shoe-in to make his mark on the Springbok setup his two main rivals for the loosehead roll, Beast Mtawarira and Trevor Nyakane, both struggling to make an impact this season.

Mtawarira turns out for the under-performing Sharks, who find themselves uncharacteristically second last in the South African Conference, while Nyakane has struggled to hold down a first-team spot at the Bulls.

Malherbe and Koch will battle each other, as well as Jannie du Plessis and Marcel van der Merwe for the tighthead position while Coenie Oosthuizen could offer an option on both sides of the scrum. 

Addressing the media at Monday's training session at the Cape Town Stadium, Meyer admitted he was impressed with how much Kitshoff has improved his game since his last call-up to a Springbok camp.

"I think he's been brilliant," Meyer said.

"Last time I said to him he's a brilliant player, but he needed to improve his ball handling skills and probably play more with the ball, because that's what we want from the loosehead.

"He went back to the Stormers and really improved on that and he's been world class."