Bok squad members to boost Stormers against Zebre

Damian Willemse, Marvin Orie and Salmaan Moerat are back in training with the Stormers and are all expected to be involved in Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship match against Zebre in Cape Town.

The trio were all part of the Springbok squad that played against Wales, Scotland and England on the end-of-year tour of the United Kingdom.

Only Willemse got game time during the tour, starting at fullback against Wales, but he had to be withdrawn early in the first half due to a concussion and was subsequently left out of the Tests against Scotland and England.

Orie and the uncapped Moerat, who received his first Springbok call-up, did not get any game time and should be relatively fresh for this weekend’s match.

“As you all know, Salmaan and Marvin were both touring with the Springboks,” forwards coach Rito Hlungwani said. “They came back, so they will be available for us this weekend. Damian Willemse is available for us. They haven’t been around us for a while, especially Marvin and Damian, but it’s very good to have them back.”

The Stormers have struggled with depth and injuries at lock and will welcome the presence of co-captain Moerat and the experienced Orie, who will likely form the second-row combination against Zebre.

“It’s quite exciting to have Salmaan and Marvin there. They’re very different players, Marvin is very experienced when it comes to lineouts. He’ll give us a good buffer there … he hasn’t played in a while, so we just hope he’s not rusty. [But] if he is we’ll make sure that we train so he’s nice and ready come Saturday.

“It also gives us a bit of room when it comes to substitutions. It’s quite exciting to have those two guys back and it gives us more room to play around with selection and substitutions come game day.”

Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

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