Stormers without Etzebeth for Sunwolves trip
Cape Town - The Stormers will depart for Singapore on Tuesday without the services of Eben Etzebeth.
The towering lock has missed the Stormers’ last four fixtures of Super Rugby with a calf strain.
It had been hoped that Etzebeth would have recovered by this weekend’s clash against the Sunwolves, but coach Robbie Fleck confirmed on Monday that the big No 4 would not be on the plane.
“There was a bit of a delay in his recovery, but we’re certainly hopeful for next week,” said Fleck.
“We’ve been advised by the medical staff not to push him, and the best thing for him and the team is for him to take another week to get ready for the Bulls and the Cheetahs.
“He’s certainly feeling confident but the best advice was to give him another week. It was a fairly big calf tear and he’s a big unit so it does take a little bit more time than the smaller guys.”
With the Sunwolves very much the struggling side in Super Rugby, Etzebeth’s omission may be seen as a blessing given that the Stormers have a crucial clash against the Bulls in Pretoria next weekend.
But Fleck said he would have liked to have Etzebeth back as soon as possible.
“He’s been out for a while, so I would have liked him back, to be honest,” said Fleck.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 13:55.
Stormers 25-man squad for Sunwolves:
Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh (co-captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Rynhardt Elstadt, Nic Groom, JC Janse van Rensburg, Huw Jones, Oli Kebble, Vincent Koch, Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi, Johnny Kotze, Frans Malherbe (co-captain), Bongi Mbonambi, Khanyo Ngcukana, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, JD Schickerling, Louis Schreuder, Brandon Thomson, Kobus can Wyk, Alastair Vermaak