Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes Siya Kolisi will make a successful transition from flanker to number eight in Saturday’s clash against the Lions in Cape Town
The 21-year-old loose forward has been a revelation since coming into the Stormers’ starting line-up as a replacement for Springbok stalwart Schalk Butger, who has been out of action since suffering his knee injury in the Cape Town-based franchise’s season opener against the Hurricanes.
Kolisi will be the most experienced member of the Stormers’ back-row, alongside rookie flankers Don Armand and Tyrone Holmes, and Coetzee is confident that his new loose trio will do well.
“Kolisi has played at number eight at school level and as a skilful footballer he is suited to the position,” he told Sport24
“With every outing this year, he’s developed as a strong ball-carrying No 7 and has also really done a really good job for us at No 6 when Burger was injured.
“I can’t say for sure when our injured loosies like (Schalk) Burger, (Duane) Vermeulen and (Nick) Koster will be back and I’m exposing Kolisi there, should he be required in the future.
“These injured players are still suffering with bone bruising and they are unable to start training because of pain.
“I expect them to start training in the week of the Rebels match (in two weeks’ time) but in the meantime, I want Siya to get used to that position.
“There’s also Jebb Sinclair who has returned after playing for Canada, and since he won’t be eligible for the knock-outs, we needed to try out players at the back of the scrum, as well as other players we might need later in the year.
“Don (Armand) has come through the club and Varsity Cup systems and has been part of our campaign as a squad member since the start.
“We know what he offers. He’s a big ball carrying No 7 and has played off the bench before, and it will not be a new experience for him.
“Tyrone has been around as a player for WP and played in the Vodacom Cup.
“He’s had a spell with Griquas, and we are backing him to do well,” added Coetzee.
He said he believes his loose trio was ideal for a match against the Lions.
“We’re up against a Lions team that plays a fast-paced high-tempo game,” explained Coetzee.
“In selecting players like Holmes and (hooker) Deon Fourie we feel we have satisfied that consideration.
“The Lions will offer us a big challenge and I think they could be really dangerous.
“The selections (this match) are not because we are taking the Lions lightly. We are in a good position now and we’re looking to make this opportunity count.”