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A wider DHL Stormers training squad began preparations for the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby season this week.

DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck has assembled a 32-man training squad to begin the groundwork for next year’s campaign with a four-week training programme.

This squad does not include the 13 players who are currently on tour with the Springboks in Europe, while lock Chris van Zyl will join the squad once he returns from a short-term loan with English Premiership side Saracens.

Captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Wilco Louw, Eben Etzebeth, JD Schickerling, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Damian Willemse, Damian de Allende, Ruhan Nel and Sergeal Petersen will all take a deserved break in December and will begin their preparations for the 2019 season in January.

The pre-season schedule will see the players work hard on their fitness and individual skills, while also getting to grips with the tactical and technical detail that will make up the team’s approach in 2019.

Fleck said that he is excited by the talent that he and his management have to work with as they prepare for another demanding season.

“There are as usual some talented young players who are keen to make an impression, but we are working with a smaller group than we have in the past with a view to giving the players some individual attention in pre-season.

“Of course, we will add the 13 players who are currently on tour with the Springboks when we get together next year, which is always a major boost.

“The players we are working with in the next four weeks will all have the opportunity to prove themselves and earn a place in that final squad,” he said.

DHL Stormers pre-season training squad (32): Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry, Kwenzo Blose, Jaco Coetzee, Paul de Wet, Johan du Toit, Dan du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Neethling Fouche, Herschel Jantjies, Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Dillyn Leyds, SP Marais, Chris Massyn, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Salmaan Moerat, Scarra Ntubeni, Justin Phillips, Duncan Saal, Seabelo Senatla, Chad Solomon, Joshua Stander, Edwill van der Merwe, Kobus van Dyk, Ernst van Rhyn, Ali Vermaak, Jano Vermaak, EW Viljoen, Cobus Wiese, Nama Xaba.

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