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Stormers bet on absentee Du Preez

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/07/2016

The Stormers will gamble on Rob du Preez for their quarter-final at home to the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday, even though the flyhalf has not played in Super Rugby for more than four months.

Du Preez got the nod ahead of Brandon Thomson in a position that has been the source of much concern for the Cape Town franchise this season.

Du Preez, 22, started the season as first choice but hurt his knee in the second game of the campaign, against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on March 5.

A month later, replacement Kurt Coleman, tore cruciate ligaments and last week Jean-Luc du Plessis limped off in the final match of the regular season against the Kings, to be replaced by fourth choice Thomson.

"Picking Rob was a big selection because he has been out for a while but we went with him because he was the number one flyhalf before he was injured," coach Robbie Fleck told a news conference on Thursday.

"Thomson has played well off the bench and we wanted to take some pressure off him."

The Stormers have first-choice locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit back after being rested last week but Springbok prop Frans Malherbe, injured in last month's international against Ireland, returns only to the bench, as Vincent Koch keeps his place.

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