The DHL Stormers have banked on a former Vodacom Bulls lock after up-and-comer Gary Porter suffered a long-term injury on tour.
Porter had to be helped from the field in the early minutes of the Stormers’ loss to defending Vodacom URC champions Munster in Limerick.
Stormers coach John Dobson confirmed after the match that he expected the injury, reported to be to Porter’s ankle, to keep the lock off the field for a good period of time.
It adds another issue to the Stormers’ second row, which is already without captain Salmaan Moerat and the now-France-based Marvin Orie.
Assistant coach Dawie Snyman confirmed on Tuesday that Porter will not take part in the final tour match against Cardiff, and the Stormers have flown in new signing Hendre Stassen, who could make his Vodacom URC debut in the Welsh capital on Friday.
“It didn’t look good for him and unfortunately Gary is going home, but Hendre Stassen has come out to join us,” said Snyman.
“It is interesting how we tend to get injuries in the same position, we’ve already had Salmaan (Moerat) ruled out for a few months because of an injury, but fortunately we have developed depth in that position.”
Adre Smith, who replaced Porter against Munster, is likely to come straight into the starting lineup, with Ruben van Heerden shifting back into the No 5 jersey and taking control of the lineout.
Stassen is the only Stormers newcomer not to get a run in the Vodacom URC yet. The former Vodacom Bulls lock remained in Cape Town to adjust to the Stormers’ setup, but could be included on the bench for Friday’s match.
The 25-year-old missed four years after testing positive for a banned substance while he was playing for Stade Francais. At 2m and 120kg, Stassen will add plenty of physicality to the second row and was mostly utilised at blindside flank during his time in Paris.
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