Springbok and Stormers fullback Warrick Gelant could miss next year’s British & Irish Lions series after suffering a knee-ligament injury.
A source at Western Province confirmed that Gelant tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the team’s loss to the Vodacom Bulls at Newlands this past Saturday.
Western Province are still awaiting further updates from their team doctor as to how long Gelant could be sidelined for, but reports suggest that he could be out for up to nine months.
This would not only keep him out for the rest of the domestic season, but almost certainly rule him out of any participation in the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021.
The injury will come as a hammer blow for Gelant, who was just beginning to play some of the best rugby of his career after switching to the Stormers from the Bulls during South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown.
The 25-year-old finished Super Rugby Unlocked with 50 carries (rank second), 19 defenders beaten (rank first), 265 metres made (rank fourth) and 15 offloads (rank first) as the Stormers finished the tournament in second place.
He is the fourth World Cup-winning Springbok to have suffered a long-term injury, joining Handre Pollard and locks Lood de Jager and RG Snyman on the sidelines.
Western Province will have now have a decision to make at fullback. Wings Leolin Zas and Sergeal Petersen are able to play there as is Tim Swiel, who has mostly been used off the bench at flyhalf. Province could also shift Damian Willemse back to fullback, despite staying committed to furthering his development as a flyhalf this year, while they could also back 23-year-old Tristan Leyds or 19-year-old Kade Wolhuter.
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