Coetzee happy to have Jantjies back with Stormers

Former Lions Super Rugby fly half Elton Jantjies has returned to training with the Stormers ahead of their Super Rugby opening match at Loftus Versfeld against the Bulls.

Jantjies was given compassionate leave following the death of his father, Thomas, last month but he has resumed training with the Stormers.

“We’re happy to have Elton back. He’s happy to be here and looking forward to the next few days of training,” Coach Allister Coetzee told the Stormers website after his team’s training session at a packed Lentegeur on Tuesday .

“Elton has kept very fit these past few weeks and trained very hard on his own. He slotted in seamlessly this morning and this afternoon – he was like a fish in water.

“He’s had a tough time, everyone knows that, but he’s happy to be (back) with his teammates and his friends again. He’s a quality player, he’s in good nick and we know he’ll do a job if selected.”

The Stormers have played two warm-up matches – against the Cheetahs and Boland – and coach Allister Coetzee will be ‘hosting’ some controlled, mini-contact matches behind closed doors this week as he looks to finalise his 22-man squad.

Whilst a few players watched training from the sidelines – including Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon – only hookers Scarra Ntubeni (shoulder) and Tiaan Liebenberg (back) and lock Eben Etzebeth (ankle) – none of whom were present at training – are definite non-starters a week and a half ahead of their season-opener.

“Jean and Gio not training… that was precautionary… It’s nothing that will keep them out of the Bulls game.”

“However, Michael Rhodes is still battling with his hamstring and he’s a doubt (for the Bulls match),” admitted Coetzee.

“Schalk is looking positive (from his calf strain). He’s made a big improvement and we’ll know more about him later this week. “

“Guys like Schalk and Juan are in the next tier and more likely to make the Bulls game (than Michael Rhodes), but it does affect your selections elsewhere.

“But like I’ve always said, this game is not won by just 15 players,” he added

“It’s down to the entire 22 and we need to make sure that all our selection options are well trained and ready.”

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