The Stormers will be without a trio of players – including Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit – for their Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked opener against the Lions on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Du Toit is continuing his recovery from a leg injury suffered during the Stormers’ loss to the Blues back in late February.
The injury nearly cost Du Toit his leg as the haematoma quickly developed into acute compartment syndrome.
Last month, Stormers coach John Dobson predicted that the Springbok flank would miss at least their opening two matches of the tournament, which would put his participation in the Rugby Championship – should SA Rugby decide to send the Springboks to Australia – at risk, given his lack of game time since the lockdown started in March.
In an online update with the media on Monday, Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman confirmed that Du Toit will still be unavailable for their first match of the campaign against the Lions at Newlands.
‘At this stage, Pieter-Steph du Toit won’t be ready for selection,’ Snyman said. ‘I still think he has got a bit to go. I haven’t seen his medical update today, but he won’t be ready.’
Meanwhile, the Stormers are also set to be without the backline duo of centre Ruhan Nel and wing Seabelo Senatla.
Both players are recovering from hamstring injuries, which kept them out of the Stormers’ pre-season Super Fan Saturday win over the Lions last month.
‘There are no new injuries from the Super Fan day or Green vs Gold match, so everybody is ready to go. Guys not up for selection this week would be Ruhan Nel and Seabelo Senatla. They are both recovering from hamstring injuries.
‘We are as close as we can be to full strength.’
At the other end of the scale, the Stormers are set to be boosted by the return to fitness of Sergeal Petersen. The 26-year-old missed the Springbok Showdown with a foot injury but is raring to go.
‘Sergeal is available for selection,’ Snyman confirmed. ‘He just didn’t play in the Green vs Gold match because he had a tight achilles tendon. It is something we have been managing throughout the pre-season.
‘He has progressed nicely and is ready and up for selection.’
Photo: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images