Griquas prop Albertus Buckle is the newest member of the Vodacom Stormers extended squad.
Coach Allister Coetzee on Wednesday announced he called Buckle up to bolster the depth at prop after the claf injury sustained to JC Kritzinger in Friday’s game against the Reds in Brisbane. “JC Kritzinger is definitely out this weekend and probably 50/50 for next week – it looks like it could be a 3-week calf muscle injury,” Coetzee said earlier this week.
On Wednesday the coach included JD Moller in the side for Friday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Crusaders at Newlands. He takes the place of Kritzinger, with the Argentinean prop Eusebio Guinazu as cover on the bench.
The media speculated earlier this week that Coetzee was interested in the services of Springbok prop BJ Botha from Ulster in Ireland and the name of All Black Greg Somerville was also mentioned. Coetzee on Wednesday opted to go closer to home when he roped in Buckle.
“There is no prop crisis,” he said at the media conference. “We still have a full squad and Albertus is here as part of our contingency plans. He’s been doing some shadowing at training today and getting to know our systems.” Coetzee is aware that the tournament rules state that a player needs to have played four matches to qualify for the play-offs. However, these rules could be bent in extenuating circumstances.
“We have taken that all into consideration,” commented the coach. “You can receive special dispensation for special positions like prop.”
Australian referee Stuart Dickinson will be in charge of the game. He was at the centre of a storm this week after the Brumbies’ game against the Waratahs.
Coetzee, however, does not have any problem with Dickinson. “We won one and lost one when he was officiating on tour, and I have complete confidence in his ability to make the right call.”