Elstadt to answer Stormers lock call?

    2016-04-05 11:35

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - It is not quite a crisis, but the Stormers all of a sudden find themselves rather thin at lock going into Friday night's Super Rugby clash against the Sunwolves at Newlands. 

    Eben Etzebeth's calf strain picked up on Monday follows a foot injury to Jan de Klerk after the latter came off the bench against the Jaguares two weekends ago. 

    De Klerk is out for up to 10 weeks while the extent of Etzebeth's injury is not yet known, and the Stormers are now almost certain to pair Pieter-Steph du Toit with JD Schickerling on Friday night. 

    It leaves the Stormers without any tested lock cover off the bench, but the returning Rynhardt Elstadt could very well answer that call. 

    Elstadt, a loose forward by trade, is returning to action following a long lay-off with a groin injury. 

    A player with a reputation as a hard-hitting bruiser, Elstadt has now become a real option for coach Robbie Fleck at lock. 

    "He does come into the mix and we’re looking to reintroduce him into the side... he does become a lock option," Fleck said of the 26-year-old. 

    Fleck can also pick one of Jurie van Vuuren or Chris van Zyl, both current members of John Dobson's Currie Cup squad, but all signs point to Elstadt.

    The Stormers will also be without scrumhalf Nic Groom for Friday night as he joins Jano Vermaak on the injured list.

    Groom will be available next weekend, but in the meantime Louis Schreuder looks set to start in the No 9 jersey with Godlen Masimla the favourite to provide cover off the bench. 

    Friday night's match kicks off at 19:00.

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