Springboks Juan de Jongh and Jaco Taute will miss the DHL Stormers’ first home game of the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season but fellow Bok, hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, will be considered for selection.
Centre De Jongh (hamstring) has not played for the DHL Stormers this season, whilst fullback Taute (groin region) will also miss another week of action after being ruled out of last Saturday’s Sharks match.
Liebenberg, like De Jongh, has not featured in 2013 but has recovered sufficiently from his back injury to be considered for selection against the Chiefs this coming weekend. (CLICK HERE for tickets.)
The Stormers will entertain the defending champion Chiefs at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 17h05) and have a bye the following week, giving all injured players another seven days to recover from their niggles.
“There are quite a few key players out but imagine if we did not have the depth in our squad,” said DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. “We would have been far worse-off because it would have affected our future prospects of success as the season unfolds.”
Full DHL Stormers injury update – March 4, 2013:
The following players – who played against the Sharks – sat out team training on Monday:
Prop Frans Malherbe (neck) – He had a scan and it reported nothing serious. He will join team training by Wednesday at the latest.
Wing Bryan Habana (quad) – Not a worry for selection (against the Chiefs).
Fullback Joe Pietersen (calf) – Bit of tightness, nothing serious and will be up for selection against the Chiefs.
Other injury news:
Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg (back) – He is up for selection this week.
Flank Schalk Burger (calf) – He is running on the treadmill but not available for selection as yet. (“Schalk is running on the treadmill and is feeling positive, but I wouldn’t like to set a date on his return at this stage,” said Coetzee.)
Centre Juan de Jongh (hamstring) – Not ready for selection as yet.
Fullback Jaco Taute (groin) – He will be out for another week.
Flank/lock Michael Rhodes (hamstring) – He has started training but will not be available for selection as yet.
Hooker Scarra Ntubeni (shoulder) and Eben Etzebeth (ankle) will join team training again on April 1.
* Meanwhile, Allister Coetzee said the DHL Stormers were looking forward to playing their first home game of the season after two tough matches on the road.
“It’s not a train smash when you lose two games,” he said. “There’s still a lot of confidence in the team after they showed improvement since the first match and we’ll be looking for even more improvement on Saturday and, of course, we’re looking forward to playing at DHL Newlands.
“There is a strong sense of pride amongst the players and they know the responsibilities expected from each individual,” added the Stormers boss.
“In the past we made winning starts although the margins were small. This season we have not done that but with a big improvement in our energy levels we’ll show far greater improvement.”