Bax on standby for Burger

PUBLISHED: March 4, 2009

Although Schalk Burger had been included in the Vodacom Stormers team for Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Bulls in Pretoria, there is still doubt about his fitness.

The Springbok flank had to leave the field in the second half of the past Saturday’s defeat to the Bulls at Newlands and assumed observer status at training in Bellville this week.

At Wednesday’s media conference Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus said the calf muscle injury Burger sustained was still bothering him a little bit. “We will give Schalk until Friday’s captain’s practice to see if he can pass a fitness test.”

Francois Louw is the substitute loose-forward. University of Cape Town utility back Tiger Bax is on standby in case Burger has to withdraw on Friday. Bax is one of the stars of the Varsity Cup competition thus far for Ikeys.

“Tiger Bax will be on the bench if Schalk stays injured,” explained the coach. “We have sufficient loose-forward cover in (wing) Nick Koster and (hooker) Schalk Brits.

“If Schalk Burger doesn’t make it then Tiger will move to the bench and cover for Percy (Montgomery). Everybody has seen him in the Varsity Cup and we have seen him play last year.

“He had a wonderful pre-season and warm-up matches with us and we have all the confidence in him. If he needs to step up to the challenge I’m sure he will. That is why he’s in the mix.”