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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Jantjies ruled out of derby



The DHL Stormers’ injury problems continued to mount on Monday as flyhalf Elton Jantjies was ruled out of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Sharks at Newlands.

Jantjies injured his knee against the Toyota Cheetahs and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, although optimistic over the weekend that he might be ready to play, confirmed the bad news that yet another player has been ruled out.

As expected, Jaco Taute, another former Lions player, is out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.

“Jaco is obviously the big injury as we are losing him for the rest of the season,” said Coetzee on Monday.

“Elton is not available for this week but his injury is not as bad as some have perceived, and he will be ready to play in three weeks' time. Hopefully that will mean he will be in the mix for our opening tour match. Elton has a medial ligament injury. It’s an old injury that he picked up, but fortunately it is not torn, there is just a bit of a strain.

“It has nothing to do with the chest injury that placed him in doubt before the Cheetahs game. He got through the game without any ill effects from that complaint, and he put in some good tackles. It’s just unfortunate that now he has injured his knee.”

Gary van Aswegen, who played much of the second half against the Cheetahs, will start at No 10 against the Sharks, and Coetzee is looking forward to seeing the former under-21 star take his opportunity after two years of bad luck.

“Gary defended very well when he came on for us against the Cheetahs. He has had some bad luck with injuries, starting the last few Super Rugby seasons before having to pull out. Hopefully now he will get an extended opportunity to prove himself and I wish him luck. Hopefully he will take his opportunity and show what he can do at Super Rugby level.”

The loss of Taute will mean Damian de Allende, who started at inside centre in the first three matches of the season, will now play on the wing. Fortunately, although he does lack a bit of pace for the position, playing wing is not something completely alien to him.

“Damian played well at wing when he came on against the Cheetahs and of course he played wing for us in the Currie Cup last year. So he is not new to the position. We also have useful back-up players in Pat Howard and Cheslin Colby who have done well so far in the Vodacom Cup.”

Coetzee said it was unlikely that Rynhardt Elstadt, who missed the Cheetahs game because of injury, will be back for the Sharks game, and ditto Don Armand, who is struggling with a rib injury.

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