Cape Town – Former Springbok prop Ollie le Roux may join the Stormers this week to bolster the team’s scrum before their Super 14 rugby match against the Waratahs on Saturday.
Le Roux, who scored two tries when the Irish side Leinster beat the Dragons 41-8 to win the Magner’s League at the weekend, is expected to report to the Stormers training on Tuesday.
The Cape franchise will need the 35-year-old veteran’s experience in the scrum more than his ability to score tries.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus has conceded that his team battled in the scrum when they beat the Brumbies 20-10 on Saturday.
“They put us under pressure,” Erasmus said. “We had expected the scrum to be one of the easier facets but our scrum was not solid enough.”
The Stormers have seen their depth in the front row eroded by serious injuries to loosehead prop JD Moller and versatile Eddie Andrews. Schalk Ferreira, who recovered from a neck injury only recently, is not yet as match fit as he should be.
Erasmus was forced to start the match against the Brumbies with Brian Mujati in the unaccustomed position of loosehead prop.
His only other options are inexperienced players such as Wicus Blaauw and Janro van Niekerk.
Make his debut for the Stormers
Wylie Human’s solid defence on the wing again emphasised the value of experience on Saturday.
Few people had expected Human to make his debut for the Stormers but he never put a foot wrong and came to the team’s rescue at least twice.
Former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown is also providing valuable input and he made an important contribution off the bench on Saturday.
Le Roux, who made his debut for the Cheetahs in 1993, will be expected to play a similar role. An experienced Test player, he has also played in crucial matches for the Sharks.
Erasmus inherited most of the players in his squad when he took over as coach at the start of the season. That is why he has turned to experienced players to help solve problems.
The Stormers are now fourth on the Super 14 points table and in a good position to reach the playoffs.
However, the pressure is on them and it will be no surprise to see Le Roux receive a call-up this week.
He will not only bolster the scrumming but will lend an experienced hand at a critical stage.
The Stormers have found themselves in a favourable position in May before. Now it remains to be seen of they can handle the pressure
Stephen Nell – www.news24.comTweet