Stormers hold out hope for Schalk

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:21
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The Stormers remain hopeful that veteran Springbok Schalk Burger will feature in the Super Rugby showdown with the Hurricanes at Newlands on Friday.

The Stormers remain hopeful that veteran Springbok Schalk Burger will feature in the Super Rugby showdown with the Hurricanes at Newlands on Friday.

There are a few injury concerns in the camp ahead of their second fixture of season, four players having suffered knocks in the 10-34 loss against the Lions last week.

Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza (back strain) remains the biggest injury concern for Stormers coach Allister Coetzee - ahead of his team's first home game.

Burger, who left the field in the first half after he strained his groin against the Lions, will "hopefully" return to training on Tuesday.

Flank Siya Kolisi has an AC Joint injury.

According to Coetzee his "pain threshold" will determine his availability for the Hurricanes match.

Hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni (ankle) completed Saturday’s match and should be fine to play, after going over his ankle. He sat out training with Kolisi on Monday.

Utility forward Deon Fourie has a viral infection and was sent home from training on Monday. He should be able to train on Tuesday.
 
The good news, according to Coetzee, is that fullback Jaco Taute and lock De Kock Steenkamp are available for selection for this Friday's game.

Taute is back at full training, after resting his knee this past week. He is ready to play, but it will be determined whether he can start or not.

"Jaco [Taute] looks okay and he will definitely be involved against the Hurricanes, we just have to decide what suits him best," the Stormers boss said.

"This is not a pre-season game, so we have to decide whether he should play off the bench or start.

"Remember, we are playing against a side with four All Blacks in their backline. In the end it will be up to Jaco, what he is comfortable with, but having him at fullback would obviously be a massive help as it will allow us to select our best combinations elsewhere.

"The dilemma we are sitting with focuses on whether we should play Damian de Allende at centre or on the wing. He is a top-quality centre, and he did well this past weekend, but it will be good to have his abrasiveness and physicality back in the midfield alongside Jean de Villiers.

"If Jaco [Taute] starts, Gio Aplon could shift to thr wing and Damien to midfield."

Steenkamp (groin) is back at full training and available for selection.

Centre Juan de Jongh and wing Cheslin Kolbe still remain sidelined with knee injuries, suffered during pre-season action, but have been doing rehabilitation in Stellenbosch along with lock Eben Etzebeth (foot).

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Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
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Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
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Bulls 1 0 0 1 0
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Jaguares 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Kings 1 0 0 1 0