The DHL Stormers have been boosted with the news that Deon Fourie and Leolin Zas will be fit and firing for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs next month. DYLAN JACK reports.
Fourie has been out of action since suffering a fractured eye socket in the Champions Cup last-16 clash against Harlequins in Cape Town.
The veteran openside flanker’s absence was keenly felt as the Stormers struggled to secure breakdown turnovers in the loss against Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup quarter-finals and in the home defeat to Munster.
The Stormers are expected to secure third place against Benetton in Stellenbosch on Friday night, which would give the defending champions a home quarter-final in the Vodacom URC.
Speaking ahead of the Stormers’ final-round clash, John Dobson revealed that Fourie has been given the all-clear for the quarter-finals, which take place on the first weekend of May.
“There was really good news this morning and the medical team decided they didn’t even need to re-scan him,” said Dobson.
“They have cleared him for the quarter-final. He could have played next weekend [in the Currie Cup], too.”
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) April 18, 2023
There was also good news about Zas, who is expected to make his comeback from a gluteal tear next weekend.
Last season’s top-try scorer has endured a campaign affected by small niggles. While youngster Suleiman Hartzenberg has done an excellent job in his debut season, the Stormers will be happy to have Zas’ experience in a tough playoff.
“We’ve really missed Zas in terms of being punchy out wide and his offloads and having guys playing off him,” said Dobson.
“His defence, too. We’ve missed him a lot.”
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