Du Preez out for three months

Stormers flyhalf Robert du Preez will be sidelined for at least 12 weeks after sustaining a knee injury against the Cheetahs, reports JON CARDINELLI.

The news has come as a big blow to the Stormers. Initially, it was thought that Du Preez would be sidelined for six weeks. On Tuesday, however, coach Robbie Fleck revealed that the injury is more serious. While Du Preez won’t require surgery, the 22-year-old flyhalf won’t be back in action until July.

‘It’s a big loss,’ Fleck said. ‘Rob played really well in that first game against the Bulls. He’s gutted to be missing out, but at least his season’s not over. He could be back ahead of the Super Rugby play-offs.’

Kurt Coleman replaced Du Preez in the second half of the match against the Cheetahs, and went on to kick three important penalties. Fleck praised Coleman’s performance and believes that it bodes well for the coming games, games that Coleman should start. The Stormers will play the Sharks and then the Brumbies at Newlands before flying to Argentina to face the Jaguares.

‘I was very happy with Kurt. He nailed a tough penalty after coming on. He showed a lot of guts. There were some emotional scars after last year [Coleman missed four goal kicks in a 25-17 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in 2015]. It was important to get the rhythm and confidence back.

‘We are not going to bring any more flyhalves into the system,' added Fleck. 'We will back the youngsters. Brandon Thomson and Jean-Luc du Plessis have been part of the squad throughout the pre-season and they will receive opportunities [now that Du Preez is injured and there is a spot vacant on the bench].’

The only good news for the Stormers on the injury front is that winger Kobus van Wyk has recovered from an ankle ailment and should be fit to face the Sharks.

Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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