Good news all round for Stormers

16 April 2019 - 16:04 By Craig Ray
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck peps up his team.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck peps up his team.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has had a good few days. His team won overseas for the first time in two years last Friday and he now has a few returning Springboks to turn to in the coming weeks.

In further good news No 8 Jaco Coetzee’s knee injury‚ picked up during last week’s 41-24 win over the Rebels in Melbourne‚ is not as serious as initially feared.

“The feedback that I have had is that it is just a contusion [bruise]‚” Fleck said.

“It is not as bad as we had thought. We were thinking that he had broken his kneecap‚ which is way more serious. Hopefully he will be back in the mix in the next two to three weeks.

“He has been outstanding. All three loose forwards were outstanding‚ with Trokkie [Juarno Augustus] coming off the bench. Jaco will be missed‚ but the news is better than we first thought.”

To further bolster his back row stocks‚ captain Siya Kolisi is in the mix again this week after missing the Melbourne encounter.

Pieter-Steph du Toit is also available after two weeks of paternity leave while former Bok centre JJ Engelbrecht has overcome a long-term injury and will also be considered for the clash against the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday.

Bok looseforward Sikhumbuzo Notshe is back at training along with centre EW Viljoen‚ but neither would be considered for this weekend.

Eben Etzebeth is still not in the clear after a calf injury and JD Schickerling (shoulder) and Chris van Zyl (back) are also out for a while longer‚ meaning the lock stocks remain thin.

But Fleck insisted that he would not press Du Toit back into second row duty.

“The way we see Pieter-Steph – going forward – he is a No 7 [blindside flank] that can cover lock‚” Fleck said.

“The way that Cobus Wiese is playing at the moment‚ the opportunities he has had at lock‚ he has done exceptionally well.

“He had No 5 on his back [against the Rebels]‚ but played like a No 4 lock – cleaning rucks and carrying.

“We wanted to have a look at Wiese as a No 7 on tour‚ but it didn’t happen [because of the injuries]. Going forward‚ Pieter-Steph is our first-choice blindside.

“Cobus [Wiese] will back him as a flank‚ but he is also doing a great job at lock. We just want the simple basics from him and he produced that at the weekend.”

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