Schalk out of Irish Tests

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Burger had the ankle strapped up and decided to continue at Loftus Versfeld, and completed the game in what turned out to be a 17-13 defeat for the Stormers.

But the veteran Bok loose forward was spotted with crutches on Monday at the team’s training headquarters in Bellville, and on Thursday, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck confirmed the worse.

“Schalk Burger is out and will miss the Bok Tests, and we hope that we will back for the Rebels game (after the June Test break),” the coach said at Newlands. “It is a big blow for him as he still has strong Springbok ambitions. I’m sure that he would’ve had a few discussions with Allister (Coetzee) this week, but for us, we want him back for the Rebels game.”

Burger is leaving the Stormers at the end of the Super Rugby season for English club Saracens, but was likely to be part of Coetzee’s first Springbok squad. So it remains to be seen if he will still be called back into the national team once he plays his rugby in England.

Fleck has brought in Sikhumbuzo Notshe at No 8 as a straight swop for the Stormers’ Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at Newlands (3pm kickoff), with Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi remaining on the side of the scrum. All three loose forwards will hope to put in big performances to catch the Bok coach’s eye, especially with Burger now out of the mix.

“Notshe gets his chance as I wanted a bit of continuity in the loose trio,” Fleck said. “I didn’t want too much disruption by moving Nizaam and Siya. As we’ve discussed before, Nizaam is playing some good rugby at number six, and Notshe is comfortable at number eight as he has played there often in the past (for Western Province).”

Captain Juan de Jongh is still out of action, but having recovered from a hamstring issue, he hurt his back on Monday and is being kept on the sidelines for an extra week as a precaution.

That sees exciting young midfielder Daniel du Plessis - the son of former Springbok Michael and the cousin of flyhalf Jean-Luc - slot in at outside centre alongside Damian de Allende. Johnny Kotze drops to the bench as a result.

Stormers Team

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.

Bench: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Johnny Kotze.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport

Independent Media

Original source: Schalk out of Irish Tests

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