The DHL Stormers have suffered five big injury blows ahead of this coming weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby meeting with the Bulls in Pretoria.
Skipper Jean de Villiers won’t be available for selection, but prop Steven Kitshoff, lock Jurie van Vuuren, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and wing Kobus van Wyk will be out of action for some time.
In some good news, prop Pat Cilliers and lock Jean Kleyn will be available for selection.
The DHL Stormers will face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kick-off 19h10).
The full DHL Stormers injury report (05/05/14):
– Prop Steven Kitshoff has an MCL (knee) injury. The specialist will confirm his exact lay-off, but it will be long term. (At this stage it will be at least eight weeks.)
– Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder (fractured thumb) was operated on today and will be out for three months.
– Wing Kobus van Wyk (wrist ligament) could be out for some time. His injury is similar to Manuel Carizza’s – who has been out of action since late February.
– Captain Jean de Villiers (AC Joint) has been ruled out of action for this week. He will be reassessed next week.
– Lock Jurie van Vuuren (shoulder) will be sidelined for eight weeks.
– Prop Frans Malherbe (knock to head) and lock Mike Rhodes (general knocks/soreness) – both of whom started against the Highlanders – will be given time to prove their fitness ahead of the trip to Pretoria.
– Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis (broken nose) requires another week before being available for selection again.
– Sailosi Tagicakibau (calf muscle) is out for at least two weeks.
– Prop Pat Cilliers (knee) and lock Jean Kleyn (ankle) will be considered for selection this week.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “We are decimated, but the players coming in have to – and want to – perform.
“Players like (prop) Alistair Vermaak, (scrumhalf) Dylon Frylinck, (flyhalf/centre/fullback) Robert du Preez and (centre) Huw Jones – all from the DHL WP Vodacom Cup team – will join us at training this week, but other Vodacom Cup players, Gary van Aswegen (groin), Michael van der Spuy (broken nose) and Johnny Kotze (knee), are injured and, thus, cannot be considered for selection.
“In scenarios like this, our job has always been to make sure that the guys coming in will perform at their best by making sure they understand what’s expected of them,” added Coetzee. “The players relish the step up and they need to pitch up with the same intensity that we showed against the Highlanders.
“It’s always a mighty big challenge playing at Loftus Versfeld, but also a mighty big achievement to perform there or come away with the points. All-South African derbies are always big matches and playing the Bulls in Pretoria is a very physical challenge for anyone.”