17 Jan 2013

Burger to skipper Stormers

12:26 pm on 17 January 2013

TheSouth Africanflanker Schalk Burger will captain Western Stormers in the 2013 Super Rugby season after recovering from injury, coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed.

The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury in the opening round of 2012 that kept him sidelined all season.

The Springbok skipper and centre Jean de Villiers replaced Burger as leader of the Stormers and now reverts to being vice-captain as the Cape Town-based team seek a first title.

They lost at home to fellow South Africans Coastal Sharks in the 2012 semi-finals and launch the new campaign on February 22 away to three-time champions Northern Bulls in Pretoria.

The return of 2007 World Cup winner Burger heightens competition for Springbok back-row places with Bulls' Pierre Spies also fit again and ready to challenge incumbents Francois Louw, Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen.