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
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
“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
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).”