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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9