Good news on Stormers injury front
The momentum and good cheer that started for the DHL Stormers when they beat the Sharks at the weekend continued into Monday as the latest injury assessment considerably brightened the outlook for the forthcoming Vodacom Super Rugby tour of New Zealand and Australia.
Hooker Deon Fourie was the only injury concern picked up in the match against the Sharks, but his concussion will not prevent him from being available for the Stormers’ first game of the tour against the Hurricanes in Palmerston North on 26 April. So for once the Stormers won’t be losing players ahead of their next game, and they are gaining some instead, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni, flank Rynhardt Elstadt and Springbok wing Bryan Habana all being given the all-clear to return for that match.
Habana took a full part in the Springbok training session at Westerford High School on Monday afternoon and looks ready to play again.
The following week, which sees the Stormers face the Blues in Auckland, will see the return of combative Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and flyhalf Elton Jantjies. The Eden Park clash looks set to be the Stormers’ toughest game of their tour, so the return of those players looks well timed.
All of the above players are set to be named in the Stormers squad that will fly to New Zealand on Saturday. The remaining players in doubt for the tour are wing Gerhard van den Heever and utility forward Don Armand. Van den Heever is still struggling with a knee injury picked up in the closing minutes of the match against the Crusaders on Easter Saturday, while Armand has what has been described as an intercostal rib injury.
“It’s great to see the long list of players returning from injury – especially when one considers how many players we’ve been without of late,” said coach Allister Coetzee.
“Scarra, Rynhardt and Bryan will all come straight back into the selection frame for the first game on tour against the Hurricanes and Eben and Elton will be available from the second game onwards. The bye has come at a good time for us this week. The guys have a few days off and we’ll have our first and only session of the week on Friday, before we fly overseas on Saturday.”