Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Pieter-Steph du Toit © Gallo Images

Injuries mount but some good news

The DHL Stormers’ injury list started to head towards crisis proportions towards the end of their tour of Australasia, but it was not all bad news as on Monday they started preparing for the next phase of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The Stormers face the Blues in Cape Town on Saturday at the start of a sequence of home matches that will lead up to a series of tough away derbies. After losing all three tour matches it is crucial for the Stormers to win at home and the good news is that star lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and the highly promising blindside flank Cobus Wiese have both been cleared to play. Du Toit and Wiese missed the last tour match against the Highlanders because of illness in Du Toit’s case (he had been in doubt initially because of concussion) and a shoulder niggle in the case of Wiese.

Both will be needed by the Stormers against a Blues team that has shown marked improvement in the first few games of the season and is fresh from a confidence building win over the Lions in Johannesburg. That is particularly so because of the forwards who are missing: Eben Etzebeth (indefinite), Bongi Mbonambi (a couple of months) and JD Schickerling (four months).

Fullback SP Marais is also considered unlikely to face the Blues as he awaits the results of scans on a rib injury he sustained against the Highlanders, while Chris van Zyl, who started at lock in that game, will undergo concussion tests before he can be cleared to be available. Sergeal Petersen, the former Cheetahs and Southern Kings wing who has yet to play for the Stormers, has been ruled out of rugby for four months after injuring his medial cruciate ligament in a Supersport Rugby Challenge warm-up fixture. Blitzbok star Seabelo Senatla is having his progress monitored after returning from tour injured.

However, on the positive side of the balance sheet is a phalanx of players who will be flooding back into the mix over the next few weeks. Some of those players, like hooker Scarra Ntubeni, will be much needed as they return to bolster positions where first choice players have been injured. Ntubeni started full training on Monday after a long absence, as did Jean-Luc du Preez, who started last season as the first choice flyhalf but was injured in the first game and has been out ever since. At one stage it appeared Du Plessis' groin injury would end his career but there is confidence that an operation he underwent in the USA in December will save him from early retirement and offer much needed back-up, or an alternative when necessary, to the rising young star, Damian Willemse.

Also returning to training this week after long term lay-offs are Springbok prop Frans Malherbe and another front-row forward in Ali Vermaak.

Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, centre Dan du Plessis and utility back Dan Kriel have been cleared to play after returning from injury and are likely to make appearances for the WP team in a friendly against Griquas in Upington on Saturday.

Meanwhile Etzebeth and Juarno Augustus are understood to be making good progress in their rehabilitation programmes but there is no word at this point on when they will be ready to play again.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming