Schalk ‘out of dark space’

2012-10-10 22:13

Cape Town - Rocked by economic woe, soaring fuel costs, political power scrambles and corruption, strike upheaval and a seemingly never-ending cycle of crime, South Africa could do with some good news.

So here’s a wee bit of relief from the general gloom: Schalk Burger, one of the country’s most iconic sporting sons, is on the comeback trail ... and this time, touch wood, it’s for real.

It won’t necessarily lift the tottering rand but, all going well, Sport24 can exclusively reveal that the blond dynamo of loose forward play is freshly earmarked to return to first-class rugby on the second weekend of Super Rugby 2013 activity for the Stormers, the SA conference winners earlier this year and losing semi-finalists.

Western Province and Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee told us on Wednesday: “I can give you a positive update: Schalk saw the specialist last week and he was very pleased with where the knee is at right now.

“So much so that as from next week (the player) can start the rehab programme - Schalk is really walking actively on the knee again, without a brace. He will thus be able to step up things like cycling, swimming and so on.

“From Schalk’s own perspective, he is so excited there is no (further) pain at the moment ... yes, you could say he’s out of the dark room.

“Knowing Schalk, he’s not simply trying to be optimistic, either; he’s an honest and upfront bloke in terms of that. He’s been out for months ... you would think he knows when to be optimistic or to feel differently.”

Burger, who damaged left knee ligaments in an awkward tackle against the Hurricanes at Newlands back in late February, has had a deflating few weeks after getting back into some conditioning work with the Stormers squad around the mid-year mark, only for the injury to respond poorly to initial rehab and effectively take him back to square one.

That setback even sparked premature - but perhaps understandable - reports at the time that his illustrious career might be in jeopardy.

Coetzee said he was “absolutely confident” Burger was on track to begin the next Super Rugby campaign.

“If he should miss out on something (early on) ... maybe one game in February. But we do expect a full-on kind of return to training during December; we will go about his return conservatively on the knee front but the other parts of his body will still be drilled - don’t you worry about that!

“Honestly, he is so looking forward to next year. He has been seriously frustrated simply watching the other players out there.”

Under scheduled circumstances, then, Burger is earmarked to miss the Stormers’ tough opener, a Loftus derby against old foes the Bulls on February 22, but then make his keenly-anticipated return against the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park on March 2.

His first game back before the Newlands faithful, all going well, would be the third fixture of the Stormers’ programme - another demanding one against defending champions the Chiefs on March 9.

Coetzee agreed that there had been some unintentional blessings in Burger’s sidelining, even if it has been for longer than previously anticipated.

“We know that (All Blacks captain and a great Burger rival) Richie McCaw is to have a six-month sabbatical from rugby in the first part of next year ... this has really been Schalk’s own sabbatical, and perhaps much-needed in many respects.”

Although it may seem to many people that the famously combative Burger has been around first-class rugby forever, he is actually almost two years younger than McCaw at 29 and presumably has plenty left to offer the game if the knee does, indeed, repair properly.

Burger has earned 68 Springbok caps since 2003 and was considered among the favourites to assume the captaincy when Heyneke Meyer took over as national coach earlier this year, only for long-time Stormers team-mate Jean de Villiers to grab the reins in his absence.

De Villiers also smartly steered the Super Rugby ship for the franchise after Burger’s mishap early in the campaign.

Coetzee did not commit to who his Stormers captain would be in the new year - presumably he will first want assurance that Burger is genuinely ready for consistent activity again.

“He and Jean are fantastic leaders and we’ve also had captaincy from a younger guy like Deon Fourie and also Duane (Vermeulen) ... so with leadership I’ve got no problem at all. But definitely Schalk will be in the mix.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing      


  • bryce.lawrence.129 - 2012-10-10 22:17


      stephen.axtell.7 - 2012-10-10 22:30


      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-10-11 06:11

      Great news for all the other teams, at least the kings won't end deadlast in the Super15

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 07:17

      No, the Bulls have already reserved that spot.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 07:21

      The KINGS will win teh Super Series, mark my words!!!!!

      jason.children - 2012-10-11 08:02

      You Trolls are all so sad!!!!

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 08:29

      Hoe so Jason???

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-10-11 10:55

      "Schalk ‘out of dark space’..." = weepee rugby?? Wat, gaan hy vir 'n ander unie speel?? ons soek jou ni hierbo ni, hoor- ons het 20+ beter flanke??

      haasbek.visser - 2012-10-12 08:31

      Scalk jy IS en SAL altyd n Lekkedeurdie k2k ding BLY!!!! GO WEEEEPEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-10 22:31

    It's good to see him back. But with the fantastic form of the Boks' current loose-trio it will be very difficult for him to get into the Bok team. Hopefully he can help WP get the Currie Cup back to it's home at Newlands.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-10 22:39

      Yes he can help. Etzebet can headbutt the Bulls players in the final and if they still move afterwards Schalk can stick his fingers into something . . . . . . Only way the WP will get a cup . . .

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-10 22:50

      @das But the Bulls more succesful than WP. 23 cups in 71yr = 33% winning = a cup every 3yr 32 cups in 125yr= 25% winning= cup every 4yr Next please

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-10 23:25

      Jirre Daspoort - Jou somme is meer soos iemand van Noupoort 23/71 en 32/125 - get it now ?

      macziekpk - 2012-10-11 00:09

      I hope he helps the the rest of the teams next year. The only reason they made it to the semis this year is because he was not there. People talking about Schalk Burger, Brussow, Juan Smith coming back and making an impact are dreaming.

      blou.johnny - 2012-10-11 01:30

      @daspoort... ....jy is net so dom soos Duane Vermeulen en Schalk Burger...

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 03:43

      Lyk my dis nagmaaldag in Tswane vandag. Almal het skoene aan en as gevolg daarvan kan nie een van hulle tel nie.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 07:55

      I usually just scan through Rob Houwing's articles. Especially if he starts with nonsens about the exchange rate, corruption etc. So I must have missed that vital bit. O well, my appologies. Then I should say I hope he helps WP defend the Currie Cup successfully next year.

  • kaptein.spies - 2012-10-11 01:35

    Here is what the log will look like on Sun Oct 14. Please congratulate me for getting it so right: Sharks 35 Lions 28 Bulls 23 Cheetahs 22 Griquas 21 WP 20

      blou.johnny - 2012-10-11 01:55 on, Kaptein Spies..!!! ...cupless 12 years...!!

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 03:46

      Well done Nostradamus. Jy was mos een van daai ouens wat vroeer die jaar voorspel het die Bulls gaan die Crusaders opneuk en die S15 wen, ne?

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 07:20

      Daan, die loser paramedic se rekord van voorspellings hierdie seisoen is maar nie goed nie. Ek hoop nie hy gebruik sy sakke vol geld om perde te speel of sportweddenskappe te speel nie. Hy sal vinnig niks oor he nie.

  • Neil Alberts - 2012-10-11 06:11

    Well done to Houwing/sport24 for writing a great story! or not. Golden boy Burger has not been missed at all. Mr penalty should take his time before trying to make a comeback! This story sounds more like a promotion for the Burger brand than anything else!

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-11 07:01

      Sure he's had some negative moments but his achievments are fantastic. U21 RWC winner, RWC winner, IRB player of the year winner. He has definately been an asset to SA rugby.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 07:57

      Die paramedic het 'n tweeling boetie.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 08:33

      Wrong again Chris!!!!!

      phelelanimark.mnyango - 2012-10-11 10:00

      Well I'm with on this nell alberts .we don't need him write now he should just let the youngstrs have a go and he should just step back and tak a long breack from rugby...or also try to be a ledgend and form his own team to \BURGERS army\ ow my wrd.. guys like him are not needed in the boks team. with his record of yellow cards....don't think they should take out siya kolisa for him....

      ckrohne1 - 2012-10-11 13:36

      @gary.doyle.520 - Dankie vir die nugter denkende skrywe.

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-11 07:10


      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 07:22

      As jy dan oor die bulle wil lees los WP24 uit en gaan na toe. Ek is seker jy sal tuis voel tussen al die pink goed daar.

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-11 07:30

      So 15 jr oud Next please

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-11 08:35

      Jaco jy sal selfs vir ons paramedic daar kry.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 09:04

      Chris, is dit die page wat jy begin het???

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-11 09:08

      Chris, wees net eerlik en erken dat Rob en S24 n bietjie biased is!!!

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-11 07:45

    Unless he spent his time rolling in roids, there is no space in the boks. He is proof of forcing a player from a young age into international rugby. Vroeg ryp, vroeg vrot

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 08:35

      Net so, now that his career is over, he can come play at the KINGS just to put the final nail in the coffin!!!

      ruhan.vandermerwe - 2012-10-11 08:37

      sorry guys i believe schalk is the same type of player as alberts, but he is fast and knows how to pass a ball, and ofcourse schalk has a reputation of being well schalk burger and willem sounds like a plaas japie. Add schalk to vermeulen and flo and you've got the best back trio in SA.

      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-10-11 09:02

      @ruhan. Schalk is a plaas japie

      arnold.coetzee - 2012-10-12 13:57

      blou-dan moet Schalk maar gaan boer -die SB span is vol

  • robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-10-11 08:45

    He's a very welkom returned hero - actaully, another failed Kiwi assasination attempt. I saw how they did it without getting a card and now its payback time, through fair hard play.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-11 09:18

      Ag nee perd, as Schalla jou Hero is, het jy issues!!!

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-10-11 11:13

      ag nee @rob- dit was ni 'n NZ wat schalk geboelie het ni; schalk is di tipe ou wat homself beseer... wanneer hy tande borsel of skottelgoed was of wiskunde probeer doen of in sy neus probeer krap, maar sy vinger gly in sy... oog in, jy weet...ongelukkies??

  • ettienne.dutoit.98 - 2012-10-11 08:50

    Yee haaa!!! Die baas kom terug!!!!

      japjapjap.wat - 2012-10-11 11:15

      @ettienne- soek jy my?? as jy bly is, dat ek terug is, is ek bly, dat jy bly is, dat ek terug is??

  • paul.ramncwana - 2012-10-11 10:58

    Great News!!

  • andre.terblanche.5 - 2012-10-11 11:52

    Hy gaan in elkgeval nie weer plek kry nie. Te veel goeie jonges en dan kom Spies nog terug ook. So Schalk join jou vriend puke watson julle is ewe sleg.

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-11 20:05

      Baie beter! Ek het nie eers geweet Duane het gespeel nie, hy VerDuane as hy op die veld draf. (of hop)

  • heinrich.debruyn - 2012-10-11 12:19

    Het iemand hom dan gemis?

  • ckrohne1 - 2012-10-11 13:14

    Welcome back son! Looking forward to see as Bok Captain.

  • ckrohne1 - 2012-10-11 13:30

    @blou.johnny: Vuil spel is tweede natuur in Blou Bul wereld.....

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-11 20:12

      @ckrohne Etsebeth, Sinclair, Tyrone, dom Schalk etc etc

  • Eddie.Minora - 2012-10-11 15:39

    Welcome back Schalkie!!! You can actually see on the comments how afraid the BB's are of the Stormers outfit for 2013.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-11 16:57

      No the stormers/lions outfit

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-11 20:04

      @Eddie labia minora The Stormer Barbarians are 17 yr cupless, who do you reckon will be scared of them? Angola South maybe?

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-10-11 21:28

      @Vice.kaptein.spies so you had a moment of introspection & found out your real profile - Labia minora, congratulations d**s

      kaptein.spies - 2012-10-13 18:52

      @shoosh Not exactly the chirp of the year

  • jerome.burt - 2012-10-11 22:44

    The Bulls better hope they can beat the Kings otherwise relegation looms!!!

      johan.viljoen.925 - 2012-10-12 16:38

      Jerry, wat het jy gerook?

  • louisopc - 2012-11-14 14:18

    schalk wil be back for goood yes,the power combine a great front row

  • pages:
  • 1