Coetzee worried over star prop
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is not happy with loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff's inclusion in the SA U-20 team for the Junior World Cup.
There's no Super Rugby scheduled for the duration of the Junior World Cup, which takes place in Stellenbosch and Cape Town from June 4-23, but Coetzee is nevertheless worried that his young charge will be overplayed.
The Stormers have had a solid start to the season, with seven out of eight victories helping them to top spot in the South African conference and second spot on the overall log.
But injuries to key players have started to take its toll as they prepare for their last tour match against the Force on Saturday.
On Monday they announced that wing/fullback Gio Aplon and eighthman Duane Vermeulen were on their way back to Cape Town.
Loose forward Nick Koster also returned home from Australia on Tuesday due to a niggling knee injury.
Aplon has a hamstring strain and should be available for their next game against the Cheetahs at Newlands on May 12.
Vermeulen sustained a knee ligament injury late in the game against the Reds and will see a knee specialist in Cape Town for further assessment. But he is expected to be out for between four and six months.
Vermeulen captained the team in their 23-13 victory over the Reds last weekend and now becomes the third captain they have lost this season after Schalk Burger (knee) and Jean de Villiers (hand ligaments) were earlier casualties.
Burger may only return in July, with De Villiers expected to be ready for the clash against the Waratahs on May 19.
Lock Andries Bekker, who missed the Reds game due to a lower back injury, is expected to play against the Force.
And Coetzee is worried Kitshoff may get injured as the Stormers' last game before the break is on June 2 against the Bulls in Pretoria. Two days later the Baby Boks take on Ireland.
"It worries me because Steven started each of our Super Rugby games," Coetzee told Die Burger.
"Brok Harris is on the substitutes' bench this week and the plan is to send him on during the game. It's something we'll have to talk about when I return (from Australia). It's very important how we manage Steven."
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Bryan Habana, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Danie Poolman, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker (captain), 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Don Armand, 19. Deon Fourie, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. JP du Plessis