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Stormers are up for the Bulls challenge

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“The players have worked hard, so it’s now up to the coaches to get the selections and combinations right. They’ve given us some healthy work to do”

Steven Kitshoff during a Stormers training session at the Bellville HPC. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck says the players have done their part, now the onus is on him and his assistants to get their selections right.

The Stormers will kick off their 2019 Super Rugby proceedings against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday after beating their traditional rivals 33-28 in their Marvel-themed warm-up at Cape Town Stadium last week.

It was a pleasing result for the Capetonians, especially seeing as they outsmarted a near full-strength Bulls side with virtually a B team.

And in their final warm-up against Boland on Friday, they ran in 13 tries to one to dismantle the hosts 87-5 in Wellington.

There were some impressive performances from some of the younger players like wing Nico Leonard, scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies and prop Corne Fourie, while centres Ruhan Nel and Dan du Plessis and the greater part of the Springbok players also looked good.

Following the game, Fleck said some of those individual performances might force him to rethink one or two selections ahead of their season-opener.

“The players have worked hard, so it’s now up to the coaches to get the selections and combinations right. They’ve given us some healthy work to do,” Fleck said.

Some of those selections are likely to come down to availability, though.

On the injury front, Fleck added that Sergeal Petersen is still in doubt for the Loftus match, while Frans Malherbe and Sikhumbuzo Notshe should be fit after leaving the field in Wellington. Fleck also said that Cobus Wiese, who took a knock to the head (he recently recovered from a neck injury), had experienced some stiffness but that his replacement was purely cautionary.