Coetzee in no mood to answer questions

The Stormers coach said he's only focused on this weekend’s clash against the Waratahs.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was in no mood to answer questions about Western Province Director of Rugby Gert Smal's recent appointment.

Smal, who signed a three-year contract with the union on Monday, returns to the province after coaching stints with the Springboks and the Irish national team.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Coetzee said he's only focused on this weekend's clash against the Waratahs.

"Fortunately, I know the man for a long time. We've worked together and it's great to have Gert on board. I'm really not here to focus on Gert's involvement here. This is about the Stormers playing the Waratahs this weekend. That's all that matters to me."

Despite the Stormers' shocking start to the campaign, which has seen them lose five of their opening six Super Rugby games, the coach believes the season is not yet over for his side.

The Cape-based side will have to win at least eight of their 10 remaining fixtures to stand a chance of reaching the playoffs.

Despite the improbable scenario, Coetzee still believes his team can do it.

"Do you expect us to just chuck in the towel and give up to make you happy? Not at all. This is a tough competition, we realise that. We are here to fight until the end."

Stormers Captain Jean de Villiers will miss Saturday's game with a calf injury, with eighthman Duane Vermeulen leading the team in his absence.

Despite being able to play, Coetzee has opted to rest de Villiers as a precaution.

"Jean de Villiers is suffering from a meniscus cyst, which is impacting on his calf. It is something that will settle in seven days. It gives him an extra week of rest with our bye next week."

In other changes, Kobus van Wyk will start on the right wing, with Damian de Allende moving back to centre.

Jaco Taute returns to the starting line-up, replacing Gio Aplon.

Lock Ruan Botha replaces Jurie van Vuuren in the tight five.