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Sidelined Grant ready to tour?

Thu, 21 Mar 2013 11:25
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Coetzee on Toomua - 'He looks much fitter now than 2009'
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee remains hopeful that Springbok flyhalf Peter Grant will recover in time to be considered for their Australasian tour.

Grant, who injured his ankle during training last week, could miss up to a month of action.

That means the 28-year-old pivot will not feature in the Stormers' next four matches - at home to the Brumbies (at Newlands this coming Saturday), the Crusaders (at the same venue a week later), the Cheetahs (in Bloemfontein on April 6) and the Sharks (in Cape Town on April 13).

However, the five-times capped Bok is in a race against time to be fit for the Stormers' departure to Australasia - where they face the Hurricanes (in Palmerston North, April 26), the Blues (Albany, May 3), the Waratahs (Sydney, May 11) and the Rebels (Melbourne, May 17).

Coetzee admitted that Grant would not feature in the next month, unless something dramatic happened in the next few weeks.

"Unfortunately Peter [Grant] has a slight syndesmosis [where the bony surfaces are united by a ligament] of the ankle, which will sideline him for the next three to four weeks," the Stormers mentor told a media briefing at Newlands. "The positive is he could be ready for the tour," Coetzee added.

It will give the Stormers' other Bok flyhalf, Lions loan player Elton Jantjies, the next four games to regain his best form.

While the 22-year-old pivot - who played in two Tests for South Africa last year - had a slow start to the year, Jantjies has been improving steadily in the last couple of outings.

And Coetzee has consistently backed the young flyhalf, saying he is "happy" with the player's progress.

On Saturday he comes up against one of Australia's most talented flyhalves, 23-year-old Matt Toomua - who is no stranger to the Newlands faithful, having played for Western Province as a raw 19-year-old in 2009.

Coetzee certainly remembers the gifted player, who became only the second Brumbies player to be contracted directly from school.

While Toomua's stint in Cape Town, which saw him play four Currie Cup matches, was not that successful, Coetzee is aware of the threat the more mature playmaker poses.

"He looks much fitter now than he was when he was here in Cape Town [in 2009]," Coetzee told a media briefing.

"He is a tough player and physical flyhalf and is not scare to take the ball to the line," he said of the Wallaby pivot.

"His defence is solid and her has good core skills. He kicks well and passes well - he is a quality player."

By Jan de Koning

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