De Villiers, Burger to lead Stormers

Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger have been named captain and vice-captain respectively for the Stormers' 2014 Super Rugby campaign.

'Jean and Schalk are both top-class rugby players and leaders, who also happen to be very close friends – dating back to their school days,' said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. 'Most importantly, Jean and Schalk understand the Stormers culture well. That’s important for us, as coaches; they believe in our philosophy and what we’re trying to achieve with this squad.'

Coetzee did emphasise that the coaches would keep a close eye on the two Springboks.

'It’s important for us to manage them both properly. Schalk only recently made his return to top-level rugby, after a long period out, while Jean – after leading his country with plenty of success in 2012 and 2013 – will be a key figure for the Springboks in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.

'Having Jean as captain and Schalk as his deputy will allow us to manage both players and get the best out of them in the process.'

The Stormers will play their first pre-season match against the Bulls in Polokwane, followed by clashes against the Kings (7 February) and Boland (15 February).

They will play their first fixture of the 2014 Super Rugby season against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday, 22 February.

The Stormers also recently announced the 38-man squad that is currently in Super Rugby pre-season training.

Photo: Luigi Bennett/BackpagePix