Bok coach visits Stormers

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Burger picked up an ankle injury in the first half of the past weekend’s 17-13 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, but continued to play the full 80 minutes.

However, the 33-year-old Springbok veteran was spotted with crutches at the team’s Bellville training headquarters on Monday, and is in a race against time to be ready for this weekend’s clash.

“Schalk went over his ankle at Loftus, but played on. He is a really tough guy, and we hope that he can fit for the Cheetahs game,” forwards coach Russell Winter said. “The medical team will have to work on him to get it sorted out, and we are still hopeful that he will be able to play.

“But if he doesn’t, someone like Sikhumbuzo Notshe can slot right in as he has been playing some really good rugby. We haven’t thought about the make-up of the loose trio as yet should Schalk not play. Nizaam Carr has also been very good this season, and whether he or Notshe plays at number eight must still be decided.”

Carr started at openside flank against the Bulls, but is a more natural No 8, with his creative skill-set also better suited to the back of the scrum.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck, though, said before the Loftus game that Carr may continue at No 6 for the foreseeable future, so it will be interesting to see what option he goes for against the Cheetahs.

Rynhardt Elstadt can also operate in the loose trio at blindside flank, although Notshe is the next in line for a starting berth.

Eben Etzebeth went off at halftime at Loftus, but Winter said that he didn’t feel any after-effects of the calf injury that saw him miss six games leading up to the Bulls clash, and the Springbok lock will be fine to play against the Cheetahs.

The Stormers will also be boosted by the return of flyhalf Robert du Preez from a long-term knee injury, as well as utility back Jaco Taute, tighthead prop Wilco Louw and lock Jean Kleyn, but Winter said that they are likely to feature for the Western Province side in the Currie Cup this weekend as they don’t have any game time under their belts.

Meanwhile, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee visited the Stormers camp on Monday in the final stop of his “road show” at each of the six South African franchises.

Coetzee, who celebrated his 53rd birthday on Monday, addressed the players and coaches about his expectations and plans for the Boks ahead of the three-Test series against Ireland next month.

He will name his first Bok squad on Saturday night at 7pm at Newlands. “We all sang happy birthday to him!” said Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport - Independent Media

Original source: Bok coach visits Stormers

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