Schalk won’t face the Lions
Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Johannesburg - The Stormers look set to be without Schalk Burger when they tackle the Lions in a Vodacom Super Rugby match at Newlands on Saturday.
According to the supersport.com website, it is understood that Burger, along with wing Cheslin Kolbe, failed to convince coach Allister Coetzee that they were ready to return from injury following a training session at the High Performance Centre in Bellville on Tuesday.
Coetzee had given Burger a 50/50 chance of playing but was hopeful he might get through Tuesday after running at 70% on Monday.
Kolbe looked good in training on Monday but it is understood that he felt the effects of his effort on Tuesday and the Stormers management will take the wise course of action by delaying his return to the team for at least another week. The media were barred from training on Tuesday, but sources close to the camp have leaked out the team, with The Cape Times reporting on Wednesday that Peter Grant will be named at fullback when the side is announced later in the day.
Grant has not impressed at flyhalf since returning to the Stormers team from Japan, while Jaco Taute has been a pale reflection since his return from a long injury lay-off of the man who was so impressive at fullback when he played for the Lions that he earned Springbok selection. Nonetheless Grant moving to fullback, if that happens, would be a major surprise as he has not played there for the Stormers.
Demetri Catrakilis has better goalkicking form than Grant, which might explain the selection, but the former UCT Tigers and Southern Kings flyhalf wasn’t great in general play before being dropped. The team is to be announced at lunch time on Wednesday.
With Burger ruled out, the same loose trio that played together against the Waratahs last time out should be retained, with Duane Vermeulen playing off the back of the scrum and Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi on the flanks. Damian de Allende will shift to the right wing in place of the injured Kobus van Wyk so that regular captain Jean de Villiers can return at inside centre.
In the continued absence of Tiaan Liebenberg and Scarra Ntubeni, Deon Fourie will continue as the hooker after playing most of the early season games on the openside flank.