DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has released an injury update ahead of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands (19h15).
Captain Jean de Villiers (sternum injury) is unavailable for the weekend, but fellow Springboks, lock Eben Etzebeth, flank Siya Kolisi and winger Bryan Habana (all of whom played against Samoa this past weekend), are fit for selection.
Habana, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, centre Juan de Jongh and wing Gio Aplon – who were part of the Bok squad but did not play in June – all resumed full training on Monday ahead of the Cheetahs fixture.
Stormers coach Coetzee said: “We made the policy last week already; that Springboks like Eben Etzebeth, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana, who have played a lot of late, would sit out today. Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh trained, but we also gave Siya Kolisi the day off too – he’s a Springbok now after all!
“All of them will be back at training tomorrow – but not Jean. We think it’s in his (Jean’s) best interests to take a break. I will never play a guy who is not 100% physically and medically fit.
“(But) then you see a guy like Bryan Habana, who was given the day off, yet he was out there training today in the pouring rain,” added Coetzee.
“It shows how important the last three games are for us and him too. That’s an attitude a lot of young players can learn from.”
In the absence of skipper De Villiers, Coetzee pointed to forwards Deon Fourie and Tiaan Liebenberg and backs Juan de Jongh and Bryan Habana – “all of whom are capable leaders who can step up and fill the void”.
Meanwhile, in other injury news, Rynhardt Elstadt (knee) and Pat Cilliers (ankle) started today with their on-field rehabilitation. They could come into contention for next weekend (against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on July 6).
Flanker Michael Rhodes (ankle) will hopefully come into contention for the Bulls game in Cape Town on July 13.
However, No.8 Duane Vermeulen (knee) and Peter Grant (ankle and shoulder) are not available for the rest of the 2013 Super Rugby season.