Double blow as Stormers lose front row pair

The Stormers suffered two tour-ending injuries after their heartbreaking 13-14 Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders in Rugby InjuryChristchurch at the weekend.

Forwards Siyabonga Ntubeni and Pat Cilliers will have to head home.

They will join Rynhardt Elstadt, who already returned to Cape Town last week.

Ntubeni has a grade two tear in his calf muscle and could be out for five weeks.

Cilliers could be out for up to six weeks with a rib cartilage injury.

Frans Malherbe and Michael Rhodes are also doubtful starters ahead of Friday’s second tour match – against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Boland prop Martin Dreyer will fly over as injury cover and will join the squad in Auckland this week.

Negotiations are presently underway to secure Martin Bezuidenhout (who was part of the squad last week) as cover at hooker.

If Bezuidenhout cannot make it, WP Vodacom Cup hooker Stephan Coetzee will fly over as cover.

Frans Malherbe (broken baby toe) and utility forward Rhodes (shoulder) will be given until Wednesday to prove their fitness.

Fullback Jaco Taute (AC Joint) is making good progress from the weekend and has a big chance of facing the Chiefs.

“It’s a long list of injuries,” coach Allister Coetzee said.

“Scarra [Ntubani} and Pat [Cilliers] will join quality players like Rynhardt Elstadt, Eben Etzebeth, Manuel Carizza, Jean Kleyn, Juan de Jongh and Cheslin Kolbe back home and on the sidelines.

“But the guys are still positive and there’s a good feeling in the camp.

“We had a good training session today [Mionday] and also had a good video review of the game [against the Crusaders].

“There were a lot of positives from the game, but the big negative – again – was us not taking the opportunities we created for ourselves.”

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