Coach Allister Coetzee has released an injury update after the DHL Stormers’ tour, with six further players unavailable for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash against the Reds.
The Stormers got back from tour on Saturday evening and returned to the training ground on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s encounter at DHL Newlands (17h05).
Pumas lock Marius Coetzer (who played for Western Province in 2006/07) has joined the DHL Stormers squad this week and will come into contention for the Reds match.
The full DHL Stormers injury update is as follows:
New injuries (from the Rebels match):
– Hooker/flank Deon Fourie (fractured ribs – two-three weeks)
– Hooker Scarra Ntubeni (hamstring tear, grade two – two-three weeks)
– Prop Pat Cilliers (ankle, grade two ligament tear – minimum six weeks)
– Prop Frans Malherbe (ankle, syndesmosis tear – will be operated on tomorrow, not less than ten weeks – could be out long-term)
– Lock Andries Bekker (back, grade one disc tear – six-eight weeks)
– Centre Juan de Jongh (fracture in his ring finger – high up in the joint – minimum three weeks)
Back from injury this week:
– Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg (elbow)
Already out/long-term injuries:
– Lock De Kock Steenkamp (chest – needs another week or two)
– Lock Ruan Botha (ankle – fit for the Currie Cup)
– Flank Michael Rhodes (ankle, syndesmosis – should be back by the last week or two of league action)
– Flank Rynhardt Elstadt (knee – should be back by the last week or two of league action)
– No.8 Duane Vermeulen (knee – should be back by the last week or two of league action)
– Flyhalf Peter Grant (ankle, syndesmosis – definitely not back before the June Test break)
– Fullback Jaco Taute (knee – out for the rest of the season)
Long-term injuries – players that have not played yet in 2013:
– Prop Deon Carstens (retirement – neck)
– Flank Schalk Burger (calf, illness)
ALLISTER COETZEE QUOTES:
On the DHL Stormers’ recently-completed tour:
“It was a tough tour. It was one of the most difficult tours that I have experienced.
“That’s how the game goes – it has its challenges – and this competition certainly pushes you to the limits.
“The (close) nature of our losses have been tough to swallow… it’s difficult to put your finger on it, in terms of where it went wrong, but it’s something we need to bounce back from.
“It’s the first time, I think, that we’ve lost three games in a row which makes Saturday (against the Reds) so important. It won’t be easy, the Reds are a quality outfit, but we somehow need to get back to winning ways.”
On injuries to key forwards Frans Malherbe and Andries Bekker:
“Frans flew home with the injury from Australia without knowing about it. We have only picked it up since we returned. He will be out for at least ten weeks as he gets operated on tomorrow (Wednesday).
“As you know, Andries has had problems with his back in the past. This time though it is a disc in the lower part of his back that is giving him trouble. He will be out for a minimum of six weeks.
“These injuries are all massive complications for us as it disrupts continuity and we have several new combinations playing for us now, but at the same time new players bring energy and we felt it in training this afternoon.”
On the return of fit-again hooker Tiaan Liebenberg:
“He will make a difference. It was good to hear his voice again at training. His rehab went well, he’s trained well… he’s leaner. There’s a big chance for him to be in the 22 and there’s no reason why he couldn’t start.”
On the arrival of new squad member Marius Coetzer:
“He is an experienced player who has played more than 100 first-class games and we are going to need him because we already have our reserve lock playing on Saturday now.”
On facing the Reds at DHL Newlands on Saturday (17h05):
“It would be awesome to bounce back. We’ve done it this season, we’ve beaten top sides likes the Brumbies and the Chiefs, so we know we have it in us.
“The Reds are a challenging team. They beat us at DHL Newlands last time (two years ago) and I expect the same from them.
“They’re probably disappointed at losing last week and they’ll probably be chasing a four-try bonus point. We’re confident in our defence, however, and hopefully we can make our opportunities count.”