The DHL Stormers suffered two tour-ending injuries after the weekend’s 13-14 Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Forwards Scarra Ntubeni and Pat Cilliers will have to head home, joining Rynhardt Elstadt who returned to Cape Town last week, whilst Frans Malherbe and Michael Rhodes are in doubt ahead of Friday’s second tour match (v Chiefs).
Boland prop Martin Dreyer will fly over as injury cover and negotiations are presently underway to secure Martin Bezuidenhout (who was part of the squad last year) as cover at hooker.
The full DHL Stormers injury report (10/03/14):
– Hooker Scarra Ntubeni (torn calf muscle) and Pat Cilliers (fractured rib cartilage) are on their way home from tour with injuries. Ntubeni has a grade two tear and could be out for five weeks. Cilliers could be out of action for up to six weeks.
– Tighthead prop Frans Malherbe (broken baby toe) and lock/flank Michael Rhodes (shoulder) will be given until Wednesday to prove their fitness. Malherbe appears more doubtful at this stage.
– Fullback Jaco Taute (AC Joint) is making good progress from the weekend and has a big chance of facing the Chiefs.
– Boland prop Martin Dreyer will join the squad in Auckland this week and negotiations are presently underway to secure Griquas hooker Martin Bezuidenhout as cover for Ntubeni. If Bezuidenhout cannot make it, DHL WP Vodacom Cup hooker Stephan Coetzee will fly over as cover.
QUOTES FROM DHL STORMERS COACH ALLISTER COETZEE:
“It’s a long list of injuries, Scarra and Pat will join quality players like Rynhardt Elstadt, Eben Etzebeth, Manuel Carizza, Jean Kleyn, Juan de Jongh and Cheslin Kolbe back home and on the sidelines,” he said.
“But the guys are still positive and there’s a good feeling and mood in the camp. We had a good training session today and also had a good video review of the game. There were a lot of positives from the game, but the big negative – again – was us not taking the opportunities we created for ourselves.
“In recent years, we’ve had a loose forward crisis and then in another year we lost a few flyhalves. This year it looks like the turn of the locks and, to a lesser extent, the tight forwards. We have a training group of 40 players and now it does not look like it is enough to cover all positions.
“At the rate we are sending players home, we need an entire team to be on standby,” joked the DHL Stormers boss.