Gold says Vodacom Stormers have quality in depth

PUBLISHED: April 15, 2008

Vodacom Stormers forwards coach Gary Gold believes the team has enough quality players to absorb the possible loss of Andries Bekker and JD Moller.

Lock Bekker and prop Moller suffered injuries in the Super 14 victory over the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday and are in serious doubt for the clash against the Hurricanes at Newlands the coming Saturday.

Gold said a spate of injuries is always a nightmare for coaches. “We must admit how lucky we’ve been with injuries thus far. We haven’t been terribly hit, but then you get a spate of injuries when you least need it.

“Losing both JD and Andries, who have definitely played there part in being stalwarts of our pack, is tricky. It will be a test of our character playing without them.

“But Schalk Ferreira is back from injury and he played a game the past weekend. We also had Wicus Blaauw on tour.

“At lock we have been rotating Ross (Skeate) and Adriaan (Fondse) and Ross is a quality player.”

Gold said the coaching staff believes they have enough quality players in the squad for the team not to be weakened at all by the loss of one or two players.

He cited the example of hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, who played “unbelievable” rugby, but then got injured. “Then Schalk Brits came in and he played brilliant rugby.

“That to me is a sign of a squad who want to achieve something. It is a healthy environment where players compete for places.

“When players come into the team because of injury it is an opportunity for them to stamp their mark. We believe in the quality of our depth and I don’t think it weakens the side in any shape or form.”

Flyhalf Peter Grant and No 8 Luke Watson also sat out Monday’s training session in Durbanville. Coach Rassie Erasmus was not too worried about two of his key players though.

“Luke and Bash will both be ready,” he commented.