Former Lions tighthead prop Bertus Smit has linked up with the Vodacom Stormers as a possible salve to any potential problems with depth in the competition.
Smit, who has been out of the game for a while following a neck injury but is only 31, attended a Stormers training session Bellville on Wednesday, and although he looks some way short of the condition he would need to be in for the Super 14, coach Rassie Erasmus believes he can help shore up his front row resource base.
“Bertus lives in Cape Town, and although he has been out for a bit, he says he is extremely keen to play again. He is a good guy to have around in case we have any more injury problems at tighthead. He played ahead of (Bok and Stormers tighthead) Brian Mujati when he was at the Lions,” said Erasmus.
The coach did not say whether Smit has signed a contract yet, but it appears the intention is to give him a chance to prove his fitness as he comes back from his lay-off. Last Sunday the Stormers had to field loosehead Wicus Blaauw at tighthead after both Mujati and JC Kritzinger withdrew with injuries.
“We are pleased to have Mujati back for this week’s match (against Boland), and the situation with JC is that it is one of those injuries that is a seven to 21 day thing, it could take anything between that length of time for him to be ready again. Unfortunately Brok Harris will be out until our overseas tour, and I am very sorry about that as he was looking good after putting a big effort in during the off-season.”
Last week Erasmus denied that he was thinking of sending an SOS to Springbok prop CJ van der Linde, who played under him at the Cheetahs.