A 39-man Stormers squad will depart for Hermanus on Tuesday afternoon for a four-day training camp ahead of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
Scarra Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen, Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende – all of whom toured with the Springboks at the end of last year – will travel to Hermanus, along with capped Springboks, Siya Kolisi, Juan de Jongh and Jaco Taute.
Props Wilco Louw and Frans van Wyk, both of whom are still eligible for the Western Province U21 team, are among the new faces in the squad, joining flyhalf Robert du Preez, centres Johnny Kotze and Huw Jones and fullback EW Viljoen as the other newbies in the selection mix.
Du Preez, Kotze, Jones and Viljoen are all graduates of the WP U21 set-up from 2014, along with hooker Michael Willemse, lock Jurie van Vuuren and loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe, all of whom had a brief taste of Super Rugby action in 2014.
National skipper Jean de Villiers is on the long-term injury list, while experienced loose forward Schalk Burger will join up with the Stormers squad at the conclusion of his commitments in Japan next month.
Prop Frans Malherbe (ankle) and locks Jean Kleyn (AC Joint) and Ruan Botha (ankle) are the only players not training flat-out at the moment. However, all three are on track with their rehabilitation from injuries suffered last year.
The Stormers will head to Hermanus for the fifth year in a row, ahead of their three pre-season friendlies between 24 January and 7 February against the SWD Eagles, Cheetahs and Boland Kavaliers, respectively. Those exact dates, kick-off times and venues will be confirmed later this week.
The Stormers will open their Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls in Pretoria on 14 February. Their first home game is against the Blues, at Newlands, on 21 February.
Stormers 39-man training squad – Ruan Botha, Manuel Carizza, Nizaam Carr, Demetri Catrakilis, Kurt Coleman, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Robert du Preez, Ryno Eksteen, Eben Etzebeth, Rynhardt Elstadt, Gerbrandt Grobler, Nic Groom, Huw Jones, Oli Kebble, Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Vincent Koch, Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi, Johnny Kotze, Dillyn Leyds, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Godlen Masimla, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Neil Rautenbach, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, Jaco Taute, Jurie van Vuuren, Frans van Wyk, Kobus van Wyk, Alistair Vermaak, Duane Vermeulen, EW Viljoen, Michael Willemse.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix