No Malherbe for Cheetahs duel

    2014-05-20 12:00

    Gavin Rich - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe is unlikely to make his return to the Stormers team for Saturday’s Super Rugby derby against the Cheetahs at Newlands.

    According to the website, while Jean de Villiers will definitely be back to lead the team and Schalk Burger and Sailosi Tagicakibau were both training on Monday, coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that Malherbe was still showing symptoms of concussion the last time he was tested and will sit out the recommended full three weeks for concussion.

    “The rules on concussion are very strict and this is Frans’ third week so I don’t think he will be available for selection,” said Coetzee.

    “However, Oli Kebble has come through his tests so he is back in training and will be ready to play in the Cheetahs game.”

    Kebble was set to make his first start for the Stormers in the match against the Vodacom Bulls two weeks ago but was ruled out with concussion sustained in the clash with the Highlanders at Newlands the week before that.

    He also missed out on the win over Western Force, so Saturday could well be his first feel of the No 1 jersey.

    However, Coetzee has hinted he may give a start to Alistair Vermaak, the 25-year-old back-up prop who has done well as a replacement in the last two games.

    “I have been really impressed with Alistair. I enjoy it when someone takes their opportunity when it is offered to them and Alistair has done that. I must still see though how he goes as a member of the starting team. That is what we don’t know. But we also don’t know that about Oli Kebble, who hasn’t had a start and got injured when he was supposed to start.”

    Coetzee said that Kebble and Vermaak would be the loosehead props in the match day 23 this week, with Brok Harris moving back to his more familiar position of tighthead as back-up to Pat Cilliers.

    Meanwhile Steven Kitshoff, the first choice loosehead, is likely to be out for the rest of the season. Kitshoff sustained a knee injury against the Highlanders that initially ruled him out of rugby for eight weeks, but it has subsequently been found that he requires an operation to repair a torn ligament in his foot.

    It is a similar operation to the one that Springbok prop Eben Etzebeth underwent after the last international tour so it is unlikely that Kitshoff will be back playing before the end of the 2014 season.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.