Barry still in doubt for Chiefs’ clash

PUBLISHED: April 20, 2004

It is still uncertain whether Investec Stormers inside centre De Wet Barry will run out for the Super 12 match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

The tough-as-teak No 12 tore a muscle in his hamstring in a brilliant performance against the Blues last Friday and had to leave the field. He hasn’t trained with the side this week and according to coach Gert Smal he will give the stalwart as long as possible to recover.

“I will wait until the latest moment before making a decision about De Wet. But I will not gamble with any player. There are two more important matches after this one and I cannot afford to pick up more injuries.”

Captain Corne Krige also sat out training on Tuesday, but his captain is fine, said Smal. “It is just about giving him as much rest as possible.”

Before their departure for Australia and New Zealand Smal said he would be looking at an opportunity to give Krige a rest. He, however, ruled out the possibility of the skipper sitting out this one. “This is a very important game for us.”

If Barry was ruled out, hard-running Eagles centre Gavin Hume could get a start, although Gus Theron is quite capable of filling any of the midfield positions. That could open up a gap for Breyton Paulse to return at wing after having to make way for Tonderai Chavhanga last week.

Flank Schalk Burger and lock Selborne Boome, who missed last week’s victory over the Blues with injury, are also back in the mix. Smal will assess the fitness of both before naming his starting XV for the Chiefs game.

“Schalk and Selborne both practised well and we will see how they recover,” said Smal, who would have the difficult choice between Burger and Hendrik Gerber at flank if the former has fully recovered. Gerber was outstanding against the Blues.

The Stormers team will be announced on Wednesday.