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    Rhodes blow for Stormers

    2015-04-13 10:02

    Cape Town - Utility forward Michael Rhodes will return home from the Stormers' Super Rugby tour of Australasia after suffering a hamstring tear in his team's 32-18 bonus point win over the Waratahs in Sydney at the weekend.

    The tough-tackling forward was forced to leave the field in the 33rd minute on Saturday and he now faces a six-to-eight-week layoff

    It was Rhodes’s second injury blow of the season after picking up a knee injury against the Lions in late February.

    Rhodes will be replaced in the Stormers tour party by Western Province Vodacom Cup star Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who left for Perth late on Sunday evening.

    Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told the team’s official website: “Michael has a Grade 2/3 hamstring tear and will be out of action for at least six weeks.

    “It’s a huge blow to the team and to Mike, who brings a physical edge to the Stormers pack.

    “Thankfully, however, we have a strong squad system at the Stormers and you could see that in the performance of Siya Kolisi on Saturday - he put his body on the line for the team, as did everyone around him.

    “Notshe joined us on tour as a replacement last year (too), so this isn’t new to him. He’s been in great form for our unbeaten Vodacom Cup team, having also made giant strides during the 2014 Currie Cup.”

    Forwards Manuel Carizza and Nizaam Carr spent time in the blood-bin on Saturday - a physical encounter against the defending champions in Sydney - but both will be up for selection this coming weekend against the Western Force.

    Flank Schalk Burger (AC Joint) and flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis (mild concussion) will also be considered for selection this week after suffering knocks against the ‘Tahs.

    The Stormers will finish their four-match tour of Australasia against the Force at Perth’s nib Stadium this coming Saturday (kick-off 13:45 SA time).

    “We had some sore bodies after this match, so our first intention is to ensure we field a strong and fit team against the Force,” said Coetzee.

    “We need to continue improving, as we have on this tour, and will keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard in our final week (on tour).”


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