The DHL Stormers will be without Jaco Taute for their 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby opener against the Lions, but forward Rynhardt Elstadt and centre Michael van der Spuy will be considered for selection.
Van der Spuy (hamstring) and Taute (knee) were late withdrawals from the side that played in Wellington at the weekend, whilst powerhouse lock/flank Elstadt has shaken off a minor rib cartilage injury.
The DHL Stormers team to take on the Lions – in Johannesburg on Saturday (kick-off 19h10) – will be announced by head coach Allister Coetzee at lunch-time on Wednesday (February 19).
The full DHL Stormers injury report (17/02/14):
– Jaco Taute will miss this coming weekend’s clash against the Lions with stiffness in his knee after a heavy workload at training and having played in the warm-up match against the Kings. Taute will be continued to be managed over the next two weeks. Said Coetzee: “Jaco took part in training this morning, he’s resting it this afternoon. We will be cautious with him, but it will be two weeks before he plays again. It’s an irritation more than anything and it comes with the workload which, at times, results in a bit of swelling as one would expect after such a serious injury.”
– Lock/flank Rynhardt Elstadt (rib) took part in full team training and will be available to face the Lions in Johannesburg, as will centre Michael van der Spuy (hamstring). Pat Howard remains sidelined with a hamstring injury of his own.
– Ruan Botha (stiff groin) and Jean Kleyn (torn ankle ligaments – out for six weeks) picked up injuries against the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Saturday.
– Lock De Kock Steenkamp (groin) will join team training as of next week. “It’s a big boost for us
– Centre Juan de Jongh (knee) is out for another three weeks and should be available for the DHL Stormers’ tour of Australasia next month.
– Wing Cheslin Kolbe (knee) should be ready for the DHL Stormers’ second last or last game on tour.
Meanwhile, wing/fullback Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi has joined the DHL Stormers squad on loan from the Kings for the time being. Soyizwapi played Super Rugby for the Kings last season.
“He (‘Shakes’) gives us another wing option – along with his Kings teammate Scott van Breda and youngster Kobus van Wyk,” said Coetzee.
“What I’ve seen of ‘Shakes’ in games against us – he’s got great feet and is a good stepper, he’s a bit like Cheslin Kolbe, and he can play fullback or wing. He played Super Rugby last year, against big teams, and has a bit of experience.
“Devon Williams scored a brilliant try against Boland in Wellington. There’s talk of getting a wing from the outside but I am still looking at what we can get locally first. I am pleased with what we have and it gives us more time for Cheslin to recover and Juan de Jongh too.
“We are still looking to recruit a player out wide and there are talks in progress,” added Coetzee, “but we need to be sure that we don’t sign up the wrong player.”
And looking ahead to the weekend, and a match-up with the Lions who beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Saturday, Coetzee concluded: “We won’t lose sight of the fact that the match will be on the Highveld and the Lions have a reputation for pulling out all the stops in the final 20 minutes.
“The Lions showed over the weekend that in Vodacom Super Rugby any team can beat any (other) team. They were great at the breakdowns and their coach has an attacking mindset which worked wonders for the team in last season’s Absa Currie Cup competition.”