Stormers spring surprise

Sun, 05 May 2013 11:34
Large gerhard van den heever stor Large dekocksteenkampstormerstraining Large allister coetzee presser4

Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever has flown to Australia as a squad replacement for injured lock De Kock Steenkamp.

Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever has flown to Australia, as a squad replacement for injured lock De Kock Steenkamp.

Steenkamp took a big blow to his sternum during Friday’s 17-18 loss to the Blues and he will be out of action for up to four weeks.

He will return home from tour immediately, whilst his teammates will remain in Sydney for the next phase of their tour for matches against the Waratahs and Rebels.

With Springbok star Eben Etzebeth having returned to full fitness, and fellow forward Don Armand joining the tour party last week (as a replacement for Michael Rhodes), it was decided to bolster the Stormers’ resources out wide instead of calling up an additional forward.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee explained: “Yes, it’s not like for like – with a wing replacing a lock – but we feel we’re well covered up front, with Eben back to fitness and Don having been here for a week now. Having Gerhard join us will give us some more options out wide in our two remaining tour games.”

The loss of Steenkamp will be keenly felt, however, the softly-spoken second row having excelled for the Stormers in the absence of Etzebeth.

“De Kock has been consistently good for us this season – as a line-out forward and with his overall work-rate. We will miss him. But Eben is ready to start for us, after making his return against the Blues,” added Coetzee.

“Unfortunately, it seems to be a case of ‘one in, one out’ for us at the moment – first losing Michael and now De Kock, but flying Don in and now having Eben back to full fitness.

“Eben did well against the Blues, in his first appearance of the 2013 Super Rugby season, and we’re looking forward to him adding more value as the tour progresses.”

Van den Heever, 24, has played 20 games for the Stormers – five of those appearances coming this season before injury intervened against the Crusaders at the end of March.

Said Coetzee: “Gerhard had been playing some great rugby this season [before his knee injury], but he has recovered well. He very nearly came into contention for the tour squad from the start, so we look forward to welcoming him back into the fray.”

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26