Ferreira to make comeback
Cape Town - Versatile Western Province and Stormers front-rower Schalk Ferreira, who quit rugby two years ago after a serious neck injury, has decided to make a comeback.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Wednesday that Ferreira has been training with the enlarged Stormers squad at the WP High Performance Centre in Bellville since Monday.
“Schalk previously had surgery to his neck, but he has recently been cleared by his medical team to play rugby again. He is currently training with the squad as well as on his own to get his conditioning up to standard,” Coetzee said.
The 27-year-old, 111kg forward, who last played rugby in February 2009, played 45 games for WP and represented the Stormers on 14 occasions.
The former Matie played most of his career as a loosehead, but Rassie Erasmus (WP’s senior professional coach) has also previously looked at him as a hooker at the Cape franchise.
Coetzee said however that Ferreira will now only be considered as a loosehead.
Besides Ferreira, versatile back Joe Pietersen, wing Gerhard van den Heever and flyhalf Burton Francis have all started training with the Stormers squad.
According to Coetzee, Springbok prop Deon Carstens is still with Saracens in England and will only join the squad at a later stage.
“We will be working very hard on our fitness and conditioning until December 15 to make sure that we are stronger, fitter and faster than before.
“After that we take a break until we regroup on January 9 to prepare for the pre-season friendly matches against the Lions, Sharks, Kings and Boland,’’ added Coetzee.