Andries Bekker joins De Kock Steenkamp and Rynhardt Elstadt on the Stormers second row injury list, which has necessitated a call up for veteran lock Marius Coetzer to join up with the men from Cape Town.
“He is an experienced player who has played more than 100 first class games and we are going to need him because we already have our reserve lock playing on Saturday now,” said Stormers’ coach Alistair Coetzee.
But when it rains it pours as Deon Fourie (broken ribs), Frans Malherbe (torn ankle ligament) and Pat Cilliers (ankle injury) have also been ruled out for extended periods of time.
“Frans flew home with the injury from Australia without knowing about it. We have only picked it up since we returned. He will be out for at least 10 weeks as he gets operated on tomorrow (Wednesday),” said Coetzee after a Stormers training session on Tuesday.
“As you know, Andries has had problems with his back in the past. This time though it is a disc in the lower part of his back that is giving him trouble. He will be out for a minimum of six weeks. These injuries are all massive complications for us as it disrupts continuity and we have several new combinations playing for us now, but at the same time new players bring energy and we felt it in training this afternoon.”
Other players who did not train Tuesday include Juan de Jongh and Scarra Ntubeni.
The only good news the Stormers received is that Tiaan Liebenberg is eventually back from a long injury layoff.
“Tiaan brings experience and it was good to hear his voice again at training today,” said Coetzee.
If the Stormers win another game this season they will be pretty lucky. Expect serious damage control in their remaining matches, but going into their shell could be the last thing they need.