Fourie earmarked for back row role

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:27
Large deon fourie stormers Large allister coetzee presser3 Large deon fourie stormers2

There was better news on the injury front for the Stormers, with hooker Deon Fourie being given until Wednesday to prove his fitness.

There was better news on the injury front for the Stormers on Monday, with hooker Deon Fourie being given until Wednesday to prove his fitness ahead of his team's final Australasian tour match.

The Stormers will end their tour against the Rebels on Friday and they might be able to call upon Fourie, following tour-ending knee injuries to Rynhardt Elstadt and Duane Vermeulen - both of whom have already flown home.

Fourie picked up a rib injury against the Waratahs last Saturday, but there is hope that he could be fit to play this coming weekend in what is shaping up as a crucial Super Rugby fixture.

"Deon has responded well to treatment thus far - it looks better," said Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee from Sydney on Monday.

"We will give him a chance until Wednesday before making a final decision [on him], but it looks relatively positive with Deon now."

Fourie has played extensively at hooker this year for the Stormers but the 2012 Currie Cup-winning captain is more than comfortable in the No.6 jersey - where he has shone for Western Province.

Without Elstadt and Vermeulen, the versatile Fourie could perhaps help out in the back row in Melbourne on Friday. Hookers Siyabonga Ntubeni and Martin Bezuidenhout are quality players who could feature in the middle of the front row, whilst the likes of Don Armand and Nizaam Carr offer further back row options - alongside Siya Kolisi, a regular starting loose forward this season.

"Gerbrandt Grobler arrived here [in Sydney] today [Monday], so we should still be able to pick a good team this weekend," confirmed Coetzee.

"A guy like Scarra [Ntubeni] could possibly start at hooker, Don Armand, too, at flank - it's a case of them taking their chances, a similar situation to last year where we supported and backed our available players."

However, when asked about whether he had though about making any unforced changes to the team this week, Coetzee explained: "When you sit with a lot of injuries there's not a lot that you can do.

"I am definitely someone that would've gone to my bench [if possible], but I'm also a firm believer in giving people chances to rectify their errors. Certainly, there will be enforced changes and we're looking at perhaps making one or two other changes too.

"In an ideal world I would also be looking at giving players an opportunity to play on tour - it's always been the case. You've love to give everyone an opportunity [to play], but we need to win on Saturday too - it's our last game on tour and we desperately need to [and want to] end with a win.

"In order to have the best chance of winning, you need to keep the team intact as much as possible for continuity's sake; so it's not a matter of just giving everyone an opportunity. But where we do feel that we need to refresh a bit and make changes, we will do that."

The Stormers went down by just six points to the Waratahs in Sydney last Saturday - their second bonus point defeat on tour and fifth in all this season; showing just how tight things have been in 2013.

However, the Men from Cape Town could still make it two wins from four starts on their tour should they emerge victorious on Friday.

"If we weren't creating opportunities... then I'd be worried. We are creating opportunities, but our finishing is letting us down. We're just not taking our chances and it tends to come at critical moments in a match," said the Stormers boss.

"I can tell you one thing though," said Coetzee, adding: "There is a massive determination and will to end the tour with a win.

"We're not about to give up, no Stormers team ever will, and we will be giving it everything to end on a high on Friday. I have faith in each and every member of the playing and coaching squads on this tour and we will be working hard, once again, to right the wrongs."

The Stormers team, to take on the Rebels, will be announced on Wednesday.

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Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9