Injury Blow For Stormers

Hard-running Stormers wing Kobus Van Wyk has been ruled out of action for six weeks, after picking up a patella injury against the Western Force last weekend.  Van Wyk limped off the field in the 29th minute of Saturday’s hard-fought Vodacom Super Rugby clash in Perth (won 13-6 by the Stormers) and he will be unavailable until June.  Fellow wing Dillyn Leyds sat out training on Tuesday (the Stormers’ first training session of the week since returning from Australia), but squad captain Duane Vermeulen – fresh off his two-week rest period – rejoined squad training at the HPC in Bellville.

The Stormers, in second place on the SA Conference log, will host the Bulls at Newlands this coming Saturday (kick-off 19:10).  The team, to take on the Bulls, will be announced at midday on Thursday.  Coach Allister Coetzee says:  ‘It doesn’t get much bigger than a North-South Derby in Cape Town.  We had a fantastic tour and the guys spent some quality time together, but there is nothing better than being back at home in front of our passionate fans at DHL Newlands.  We’re certainly looking forward to the challenge!’

Wing Van Wyk (patella) will be out of action for six weeks.  Coach Coetzee says:  ‘It’s obviously a blow to lose a player like Kobus ahead of a big game like this, but we have players like Johnny Kotze, Huw Jones and also Pat Howard who are hungry for a starting opportunity.  We have a few days to mull over our selection options and will make those final decisions ahead of Thursday’s team announcement.’  However, his injury is not as serious as first suspected and he will not have to undergo surgery.

Wing Leyds (shoulder) sat out training on Tuesday.  A final call on his participation – against the Bulls – will be made at training on Thursday.  Lock Manuel Carizza (cut on the inside of his mouth) is once again available for selection after missing the Force clash.

Eighthman Nizaam Carr (cut on the head) came through the Force match unscathed and trained full-out on Tuesday.  Utility back Jaco Taute (knee) is still following a conservative route ahead of his playing return.  He has rejoined split training and should be back in action in two weeks’ time.

Flank Mike Rhodes (hamstring tear) is responding well to treatment after sustaining his injury on tour against the Waratahs.