Burger's return delayed ... again
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 14:00
He is not ready to play
Springbok and Stormers loose forward Schalk Burger's return to the game has, once again, been delayed due to an injury.
Speaking on Wednesday at the team's base, coach Allister Coetzee revealed that Burger will not be considered for selection for the Stormers' game against the Brumbies on March, 23.
The coach said: "Schalk is not being considered for next weekend, he has trained well but he is not at the level that we are happy with."
"In terms of his fitness and the strength of his calf there is an improvement but he is not ready to play," Coetzee explained.
Coetzee mentioned that: "I will take it week by week and I will assess him after the break."
This return has been delayed on a number of occasions and the Stormers fans will have to wait a while longer for the return of their hero.
The Stormers have, in the meanwhile, been bolstered by a number of players returning from injury.
"Michael Rhodes and Juan de Jong went through their last tests and have come through them and are both ready for selection next week."
This gives Coetzee a serious selection conundrum as he has to pick a centre to partner captain Jean De Villiers.
"De Allende played exceptionally well last week against the Chiefs and has grown every game and all of a sudden he looks like he belongs there."
De Allende did impress against the Chiefs after he had a difficult start to his Super Rugby career.
Along with the De Allende, Juan De Jong brings a lot of pace to the backline as well as rock solid defence.
Jaco Taute returns into the fray as he has overcome the painful knock in the groin area he suffered in the match against the Bulls.
Does Coetzee go with Taute or with the deadly accurate Joe Pietersen at fullback?
In order to keep his pin-point goal kicker on the field, Coetzee suggested: "With Bryan Habana out there is a possibility of slotting him [Joe Pietersen] on the wing."
The coach also mentioned: "Peter [Grant] came from Japan and hadn't played for a number of weeks over there so he had to up his conditioning levels, get some game time and learn the transition that we are trying to make."
With the return of these players, Coetzee insists that the dilemma that he has is a good one.
"It is an enjoyable headache to have if you have options like that.
"I would rather have options like that than have to pull up the first available player and see if he can hold his own at Super Rugby level," the coach concluded.
By Nick Tatham
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