Cape Town - Jean de Villiers was reportedly still laying up in bed with flu on Thursday, so there is still a possibility that the Stormers could lose yet another player for Saturday’s crunch Vodacom Super Rugby derby at Loftus, according to a report on SuperSport's website.
Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck has told the Cape media that the skipper should still play, but there seems enough doubt following a week where De Villiers has not trained with his team. Burton Francis, normally a flyhalf, has been running at centre, and he will slot in at inside centre should De Villiers still not be 100 percent when he reports to Cape Town International Airport for the flight to Johannesburg.
“I think Jean is still laying in bed, but he should be alright. We will see him for the first time when we go to the airport on Saturday morning,” said Fleck.
It certainly isn’t an ideal situation for the Stormers to be going into a game against the Bulls with the skipper having missed every training session in the week. And it mustn’t be forgotten that another team leader, Andries Bekker, who would have led the side had De Villiers been forced out, has just been ruled out for the next five weeks. This is in addition to the continued absence of two other players who have captained the side this season, Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen.
And with the management admitting that young lock Eben Etzebeth has also been struggling a bit with an AC joint this week, it certainly looks a long shot for the Stormers, with a bonus point now looking a more realistic target for the match than a win.