Stormers co-captain Juan de Jongh and veteran Schalk Burger have been ruled out of Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs at Newlands (3pm).
De Jongh, who also didn’t take part in the Cape side’s defeat to the Bulls last weekend after suffering a hamstring injury in the draw with the Sunwolves the previous week, is currently nursing a back injury that got worse in training on Monday.
His replacement in the Bulls clash, Johnny Kotze, has also been relegated to the bench in favour of debutant Daniel du Plessis – son of former Springbok Michael du Plessis and cousin of Stormers flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plesiss.
Coach Robbie Fleck, an exciting outside centre himself in his heyday, can’t wait to see the youngster in action for the Stormers and says: “I’m very excited [to see him play].
“He is a serious talent, SA U20 pedigree, he was injured earlier on in the season and we were looking to give him an opportunity earlier on.
“But he’s had some good form for the Currie Cup team of late and he’s been rewarded for that good form.”
Another option for the Stormers would have been to start Huw Jones, but he too has injured a ligament in his toe and will be out for four weeks.
The injury woes don’t stop there for the Stormers and Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, with the news that veteran looseforward Burger has been ruled out of the Test series against Ireland after suffering an ankle injury against the Bulls last weekend.
His place at the back of the Stormers scrum will be taken by Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Despite also being used on the side of the scrum this season, Notshe is a natural No.8 and Fleck is confident that he will fill the big shoes of Burger.
He says: “It’s an easy slot in for Notshe to come in at eight, it is his natural position so he is quite well accustomed to it.”