Stormers to send SOS
Cape Town - The Stormers may ask SA under-20 loose forward Siya Kolisi to join their squad for next Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands.
Kolisi, who celebrated his 20th birthday last week, has been one of the Baby Boks' stars in the Junior World Championships in Italy.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said on Monday that he had been in contact with the South African camp about Kolisi.
South Africa only have fifth place left to play for and a request to rather wrap Kolisi in cotton wool and send him home to Cape Town would surely not be unreasonable. Kolisi excelled in the Western Province under-19 side last year and also came through their Rugby Institute in Stellenbosch.
Coetzee mentioned that there were other options to fill the void left by the injury to Duane Vermeulen. Nick Koster will replace Vermeulen in the starting line-up, but the Stormers need another loose forward for their substitutes bench, though Rynhardt Elstadt could also play on the flank if necessary.
"I am yet to make a decision because I don't know yet who we will play against in the semi-finals," said Coetzee.
"We have Siya and he was part of our initial squad. Hilton Lobberts is also doing well and one could even look at Andries Bekker there and bring Anton van Zyl into the side.
"There are a number of options and my decision will be based on who we play."
The loss of Vermeulen is a body blow, but Coetzee believes that Koster will give a good account of himself.
"Duane's abrasiveness, defence and knowledge of the lineouts are valuable qualities, but Nick is not lagging in those areas. We are very fortunate to have a player of his quality and he will also bring a different dimension to our attack.
"We will miss Duane, but Nick has learned a lot and was excellent in the games in which he was sent on as a substitute. It's an opportunity for him to start one of the most important games in the tournament."
Coetzee will know by Friday whether he will have versatile front-ranker CJ van der Linde available for next week's semi-final at Newlands. Van der Linde is recovering from a groin injury.
"CJ is making good progress and is running strongly again. If he's not ready for the semi-final, he should be fit enough to play 80 minutes the week after that. We will not consider any player who can't play for the full 80 minutes for the semi-final."