The Stormers' pre-season clash against the Cheetahs weekend will be the last chance for fringe players to impress coach Allister Coetzee before he names his squad ahead of the Super Rugby season.
Coetzee will settle on his final squad after the clash at Newlands on Saturday and those players will play a final warm-up match against the Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in mid-February.
"Many of the players who played in the first warm-up match against Boland two weeks ago will get a run against the Cheetahs this weekend," said Coetzee.
"I want to be fair to all the players in the expanded squad to stake their claims and one can do that best in a match situation.
"We go into this match with very different objectives than we had for last week's Lions match. The most important thing will be to improve on the things that we didn't do well," he explained.
The mood in the camp at the team's headquarters in Bellville was fairly upbeat and things took a turn for the better when three of the franchise's 'big guns' - Andries Bekker, Reinhardt Elstadt (both locks) and loose forward Duane Vermeulen - joined Monday's training stint.
"We were glad to welcome back those players and their rehab programme is going to plan," said Coetzee. It's really all about management and by next week they'll be ready for full contact, although I feel that Elstadt may be ready for game time this weekend.
"We also had Schalk Ferreira, the loosehead, back at training but he's nursing a hamstring strain," said the Stormers boss.
The 27-year-old Ferreira retired from rugby two years ago after a serious neck injury, but he has made a remarkable recovery and late last year he was given the all clear to return to the game.
The Cheetahs had an outing against a composite side of players from the Eagles and Border Bulldogs over the weekend, and Coetzee is expecting them to be sharp this weekend.
"Now that the Cheetahs had a run and were tested you can expect them to play a quick game, with width," said Coetzee.
"They're very good on building try-scoring movements after securing turn-overs so that's what we'll be up against," he revealed.
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