Stormers hooker Ramone Samuels could be forced into early retirement from the game after struggling to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in 2018.
The revelation was made by Stormers coach John Dobson during a media briefing of the team’s pre-season preparations for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The Stormers are expected to have a fully fit squad for next season, with the likes of centre Dan du Plessis and flank Johan du Toit coming back from long-term injuries.
However, there are very real concerns over Samuels, who has not played since an August friendly against Montpellier in preparation for the 2018 Currie Cup. The 25-year-old suffered an ankle injury which he has struggled to bounce back from.
‘The guy that we have grave concerns about is Ramone,’ Dobson admitted. ‘I think he’s potentially got a career-threatening injury. It’s very sad. He’s got a nerve that’s not regenerating in his ankle – the break was so bad.’
Dobson added that a final call on Samuels’ future will be made next February.
The brother of Springbok back Damian Willemse, Samuels has been with Western Province since 2017 after a move from the Lions. The 25-year-old was in excellent form before his injury, challenging Bongi Mbonambi for the Stormers’ first-choice hooker berth.
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