With both midfielders who did duty in their win over the Cheetahs last weekend – Juan de Jongh (concussion) and Shaun Treeby (rib injury) – adding their names to the ever-growing Stormers midfield injury list, the Streeptruie camp is delighted to have their enigste fit international centre available again.
With Scotland’s Huw Jones and youngsters Dan du Plessis and Dan Kriel also ruled out because of injury, assistant coach Paul Feeney says of De Allende’s return: “It’s been a frustrating season for him [and we’re] happy to see him back and available at the moment.
“There are a couple of games before the quarterfinal and Damian will get good game time this week.”
EW Viljoen will in all likelihood partner De Allende in the midfield against the men from Japan.
That means the Stormers will have to call up a new midfielder on their bench.
Either that, or they will have to use Damian Willemse as a back-up in this position.
Willemse has played at centre for the Baby Boks in the Junior World Championship recently, but head coach Robbie Fleck sees him as an out-and-out pivot.
The Stormers coach said on the weekend: “We see him as a flyhalf and that’s where he played at school level. I know they used him as a 12 at the U20s but he’s a 10 for us.”
The injuries, though, might force Fleck’s hand.
If Willemse, who will in all likelihood start at flyhalf this weekend, is the back-up, it means Kurt Coleman will probably come in on the bench.
The Stormers will also have to think about a reshuffle in their back three, with fullback SP Marais also nursing a knee injury.
Marais left the field against the Cheetahs after falling awkwardly while fielding a high ball and while he will sit out this week, the Stormers confirmed that the injury is not a long-term one.