Stormers travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares without trio of Springboks
The Stormers will travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares without a trio of Springboks‚ due to injury and rotation.
Captain Siya Kolisi and tighthead Frans Malherbe will miss the trip because of Springbok resting protocols
Flank Pieter-Steph du Toit’s shoulder injury‚ picked up during Saturday’s 24-23 win against the Bulls at Newlands‚ has ruled him out of the short tour.
The extent of Du Toit’s injury is one of the major talking points in local rugby right now‚ as his long-term fitness with a view to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan‚ is vital to the Springboks’ cause.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that Du Toit is “expected to be fit for the Crusaders."
That game is on May 18 and if so‚ is good news for the player‚ the Stormers and the Boks.
Young flank Ernst van Rhyn will also miss the Jaguares match due to an elbow injury.
On the plus side looseforwards Jaco Coetzee and Bok Sikhumbuzo Notshe return from injury to join the 25-man touring group.
With three looseforwards out from last week’s squad‚ the return of Coetzee and Notshe couldn’t have come at a better time for Fleck.
Coetzee was in superb form in the first half of the season before picking up a knee injury against the Melbourne Rebels two weeks ago. It was initially feared that he had suffered serious damage but fortunately that was not the case.
Young lock Cobus Wiese will also tour after yet another strong performance at the weekend against the Bulls. Wiese played the match with a fractured cheekbone sustained a week earlier against the Brumbies.
Despite losing out on the experience of the Bok trio‚ the squad will still have experienced internationals such as prop Steven Kitshoff‚ lock Eben Etzebeth and centre Damian de Allende to turn to. Kitshoff is likely to captain the team in Kolisi’s absence.
“He’s one tough kid‚” was Fleck’s succinct assessment of Wiese’s mindset.
The Stormers beat the Jaguares 35-8 at Newlands earlier in the tournament but the Argentinean team are on a three-match winning streak after beating the Bulls and Sharks in South Africa before a home win over the Brumbies last week.
"We want to keep building on our recent performances and this is a great opportunity to do so away from home‚” Fleck said.
"We have a bye after this game before we are back at home‚ so we will be going flat-out this weekend in Buenos Aires.”
Stormers squad to Argentina:
Jaco Coetzee‚ Damian de Allende‚ Jean-Luc du Plessis‚ Johan du Toit‚ JJ Engelbrecht‚ Eben Etzebeth‚ Neethling Fouche‚ Corne Fourie‚ Herschel Jantjies‚ Steven Kitshoff‚ Dan Kriel‚ Michael Kumbirai‚ Dillyn Leyds‚ Wilco Louw‚ Bongi Mbonambi‚ Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ Scarra Ntubeni‚ Sergeal Petersen‚ Justin Phillips‚ JD Schickerling‚ Seabelo Senatla‚ Josh Stander‚ Kobus van Dyk‚ Cobus Wiese‚ Damian Willemse.