The Stormers will take the field against the Lions in their final Rainbow Cup SA match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday without a number of their Springboks.
Captain Steven Kitshoff will not be in the mix to lead the team, with fellow Springbok prop Frans Malherbe also taking a break as per request from SA Rugby.
The duo will be joined on the sidelines by fullback Damian Willemse, while coach John Dobson is also sweating on the fitness of scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, who left the field in the defeat to the Bulls last weekend because of illness.
Dobson says: “We’re anxious to follow the SA Rugby [resting protocols], so Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Damian Willemse [will not play].
“Herschell had a break, [but] he was ill on Friday and I’m not sure if he will play.”
The Stormers will also be without Blitzbok Ruhan Nel, who was released to the Sevens squad for their preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Of Nel, Dobson says: “We’re happy to give Ruhan back, not just because it’s a dead rubber but because of the same reason as last time.
“The Olympics is something that means a hell of a lot to him...
“We’re really anxious to work closely with SA Rugby… the more aligned the organisations are, the better.
“I hope he makes the Olympics [squad], I hope the Olympics take place and we would have released him even if we needed to win this game to get to [the final in] Treviso.”
Both the Stormers and Lions are already out of the running to top the log at the end of the tournament and therefore can’t book a place in the June 19 final in Italy.
The winner of the SA “conference” will be determined in
Durban where the log-leading Bulls, on 20 points, and the Sharks, four points behind them, will cross swords.