Rassie Erasmus today ruled Andries Bekker out of the weekends clash against the Chiefs at Newlands.
The athletic lock had recovered from a serious toe injury to face the Highlanders in Dunedin last weekend, but sustained a rib injury in the match. The Vodacom Stormers had hoped to give Bekker maximum time to recover, but given the nature of the injury, they’ve brought youngster Martin Muller into the fold as back up for Bekker.
With both Bekker and Fondse out due to injury, the Stormers are down to third and fourth choice locks. It’s understandable that AJ Venter did not take full part in training at the team’s High Performance Centre today, with coach Rassie Erasmus explaining the need to manage the veteran’s work load.
“We’re just managing him. He’s got a bit of a knee niggle which he’s been carrying since week six. It’s not serious, but as you can see we can’t afford to lose another lock,” said Erasmus. “In addition, George Earle, who was next in line, is also injured. We’ve called up Martin Muller.”
The blonde 21 year old lock has been part of the Vodacom WP team and also featured in both the 2008 and 2009 Varsity Cup matches for UCT. He represented South Africa at the IRB Junior World Championships in 2007 and 2008.
Vodacom Stormers outside centre Gcobani Bobo has been ruled out due to an ankle ailment and will be replaced by Dylan Des Fountain at 13, with flyer Tonderai Chavhanga back in the team following his hamstring injury sustained against the Lions six weeks ago. Chavhanga wore the Blue and White Hoops of Vodacom WP in their quarter final clash against the Bulls at Loftus last weekend.
Brian Mujati is still on the injury list, together with the likes of Jean de Villiers, Percy Montgomery, Francois Louw, Nick Koster and Deon Fourie.
Erasmus said that there was a possibility that Jean de Villiers would be ready for the team’s final match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.